The latest figures show 16,703 more people tested positive for Covid-19 (Image: Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

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The number of coronavirus cases in the UK has risen by 44 per cent in a week as 16,703 more people tested positive for the virus in the past 24 hours.

A further 21 people also died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the UK's total death toll to 128,048, the latest figures show.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 153,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

Data published yesterday showed that 16,135 new infections were recorded – the highest number since February 6 – and a further 19 people died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.

NHS staff carry out coronavirus tests at a testing facility in Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln
(Image: PA)

Public Health England said case rates in England among all age groups are continuing to rise.

The highest rate is among 20 to 29 year olds, with 267.9 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to June 20, up week-on-week from 200.4.

The second highest rate is among 10 to 19-year-olds, up from 146.1 to 217.4.

This is also the age group to see the biggest week-on-week increase.

For people aged 60 and over, the rate is 17.0, up slightly from 14.8.

A woman receives a Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Tottenham Hotspur's stadium in north London
(Image: PA)

A total of 63,439,292 Covid-19 vaccinations had taken place in England between December 8 and June 23, according to NHS England data, including first and second doses, which is a rise of 316,201 on the previous day.

NHS England said 36,564,938 were first doses, a rise of 187,513 on the previous day, while 26,874,354 were a second dose, an increase of 128,688.

It comes as a Cabinet minister said all legal coronavirus restrictions, including requirements to wear face masks, are set to be ditched on July 19.

The number of coronavirus cases is on the rise
(Image: NurPhoto/PA Images)

Environment Secretary George Eustice said he was looking forward to ditching his mask as soon as there was not a "legal compulsion" to wear one.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes the "data looks good" in order to allow the removal of the remaining restrictions, Mr Eustice said.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak also told The Times CEO Summit it was his "strong expectation" that restrictions will be scrapped next month.

Despite the optimism shown by the senior ministers, Downing Street said "no final decision" had been taken on what measures would be scrapped on next month's so-called "terminus date" for Mr Johnson's road map out of lockdown.

Pressed on whether Mr Johnson hoped to "bin" his own face masks at the end of the road map, his spokesman said: "That would depend.

"The Prime Minister, should there be any requirement for it in future, would be happy to comply with them.

"But, as I say, no decisions have been taken on what will or will not be required in future."