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The UK has recorded more than 30,000 daily coronavirus infections for the first time since January, just as the British government prepares to lift all remaining lockdown restrictions in England.
Government figures showed another 32,548 confirmed cases on Wednesday, the highest level since January 23.
For much of the spring, infections were below the 5,000 mark. But the arrival of the more contagious Delta variant, first identified in India, has caused cases to surge.
Despite the increase, the British government says it is still aiming to lift all remaining lockdown restrictions in England on July 19, a move that many scientists say is dangerous.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid says cases could hit a daily high of 100,000 this summer, a level of infection not reached during previous waves.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is hoping the rapid distribution of vaccines has created a wall of immunity.
The Government says that will limit the number of deaths and people requiring hospital treatment.