The ONS said the pandemic is likely to have brought forward the deaths of some vulnerable or elderly people, which could explain the period of below-average deaths currently being experienced.

Deaths involving Covid-19 decreased in all English regions, with all but the east of England having fewer overall deaths than the five-year average.

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, tweeted: “Whilst every death is a tragedy, this data is hugely promising. Coronavirus deaths have fallen for the 12th consecutive week and, for the 4th consecutive week, total deaths in Britain are lower than normal for this time of year.”

Tuesday’s figures takes the number of deaths registered in the UK involving Covid-19 to just over 56,100.

Figures published last week by National Records of Scotland showed that 4,187 deaths involving Covid-19 had been registered in Scotland up to July 12.

According to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, 844 deaths had occurred in Northern Ireland up to July 10 and had been registered up to July 15.

Together, these figures mean that so far 56,127 deaths in which Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, including suspected cases, have been registered in the UK.

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