COVID-19: UK records lowest deaths and cases figures since September

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The UK has recorded another seven COVID-related deaths, as shops, gyms, beer gardens and hairdressers in England prepare to reopen.

The number is the lowest since 13 September last year, but figures at the weekend are often lower due to reporting lags.

The UK also recorded another 1,730 positive COVID-19 cases in the latest 24-hour reporting period - the lowest since 2 September.

The number of people having at least the first dose of a COVID-19 jab has risen by 111,109 - bringing the total to 32,121,353.

The number of second doses given out on Saturday once again outstripped first doses, at 475,230, bringing the number of people who have been fully vaccinated to 7,466,540.

The latest figures were published as caution was urged ahead of a further easing of lockdown from Monday, which will see restaurants resume outdoor dining.

The move towards relaxing restrictions has been muted by the national mourning for the Duke of Edinburgh.

Boris Johnson has postponed his celebratory pint and government communications limited to essential messages after Prince Philip's death on Friday.

Meanwhile, Wales will also enjoy renewed freedoms from Monday, with non-essential retail reopening and border restrictions eased to permit travel again with the rest of the UK and Ireland.

Remaining school pupils will return to face-to-face teaching in Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as in Scotland following the Easter break.

The "stay at home" order in Northern Ireland will also end as the number of people permitted to meet outdoors rises from six to 10.

In England, pubs and restaurants have been adapting to maximise their ability to serve customers outside.

But the British Beer and Pub Association estimates just 40% of licensed premises have the space to reopen for outdoor service.

The previous 10pm curfew rule and the requirement to order a substantial meal with a drink have been scrapped, but social distancing must be observed.

Domestic holidays can resume, with overnight stays permitted in self-contained accommodation, but these can only be with members of the same household or support bubble.

International holidays remain banned until 17 May at the earliest, amid a row over the cost of testing.

But socialising indoors still remains prohibited outside support bubbles.

It is the latest step towards the lifting of restrictions since the third national lockdown was imposed in England on 6 January.