TThe UK recorded 12,155 new cases of coronavirus and 215 other deaths overnight.
The current rise in infections follows a steady decline in case rates across the country.
The total number of infections recorded in the past week is more than a quarter lower than in the previous seven days.
It brings the total number of Covid-19 infections in Britain since the start of the pandemic to 1,617,327.
It comes as the daily increase in deaths gradually begins to decline.
A total of 3,223 deaths from the virus have been recorded in the past seven days, an increase of 4.3% from the previous week.
This compares to yesterday’s figure of 3,406 deaths – a 19% increase from the previous week.
This brings the country’s official death toll from Covid to 58,245. But separate figures released by the UK statistics agency show Britain has now recorded more than 73,000 deaths linked to the disease.
The numbers come as England enter their final two days of lockdown before new multi-level restrictions take effect.
Dominic Raab refuses to rule out third lockdown
Mr Raab insisted the localized restrictions – which take effect on Wednesday – are necessary to “curb” the pandemic and keep the country open as much as possible.
But he said levels would be downgraded in areas where the virus is on the decline, telling Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “We are starting with a more restrictive approach than before with the localized approach.
“But it allows us to relax when we are convinced the virus is down and stabilized – there is a checkup every two weeks.”
He added that with the testing, “those two things are the crucial bridge to that light at the end of the tunnel in the spring.”
And in an interview with BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, the Foreign Secretary said there was a “risk” of a third spike in the number of cases “if we don’t strike the right balance” .
When asked if there would be another national lockdown if people didn’t play by the rules, Mr Raab said: “We are doing everything we can to prevent this.”
– 208 other people who tested positive for the coronavirus are said to have died in English hospitals.
– Professor Peter Openshaw of Imperial College, a member of the Advisory Group on New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats (Nervtag), said a Covid vaccine could be available “as early as next week”.
– Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has written to 27 MPs across the region asking for multi-party support to demand more money for Level 3 zones and lift some restrictions in two weeks.
– The Labor Party urged ministers to suspend peak rail fares and provide mass coronavirus testing for transport workers to avoid Christmas travel ‘chaos’.