UK coronavirus death toll jumps by 479 as London lockdown protesters clash with police

Harriet Hall
·2-min read

The UK has recorded 15,871 new coronavirus cases and a further 479 deaths overnight.

Today’s rise in infections follows a steady decrease in case rates across the country.

The total number of infections recorded over the past week is 35,955 fewer than over the previous seven days – a fall of 24.1 per cent.

It takes Britain’s total Covid-19 infection count since the start of the pandemic to 1,605,172.

However, the positive trend in cases comes amid an ongoing rise in weekly deaths.

A total of 3,406 virus fatalities were recorded over the past seven days, a rise of 19 per cent on the previous week.

This takes the country’s official Covid death toll to 58,030. But separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agency show that Britain has now recorded more than 73,000 fatalities involving the disease.

The latest figures came as protesters clashed with police in central London during heated anti-lockdown demonstrations.

Officers arrested dozens of people on Saturday afternoon as hundreds of demonstrators, including a man dressed as Santa Claus marched through Westminster.

The Metropolitan Police said officers had made more than 60 arrests by 3pm, as the crowds chanted “shame on you” and “freedom”, causing traffic disruption across the capital.

<p>Police hancuffed protesters as they marched through the streets of London</p>REUTERS

Police hancuffed protesters as they marched through the streets of London


The force said: “These were for a number of different offences, including breaching coronavirus restrictions.

“We expect this number to rise. We continue to urge people to go home.”

Several people were handcuffed by officers, while police action was met with booing as demonstrators, many not wearing face masks, ignored requests to go home.

Protest is not a permitted exemption to the prohibition on gatherings under England’s current Covid rules.

Anyone who attends such meet-ups risks enforcement action by officers, Scotland Yard warned ahead of the weekend.

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