Britain's daily Covid cases have increased for the first time in a fortnight, official data has shown as hospitalisations continue to fall.
Health chiefs posted 29,312 new infections today, an increase of six per cent on last Wednesday's figure of 27,734. It is the first time the cases have risen week-on-week since July 27, when they were 44,104.
The jump comes amid experts' concerns the recent fall in people testing positive for the virus was beginning to flatline.
Another 119 Covid deaths were also recorded today, increasing 30.8 per cent on the 91 victims recorded last week.
But the number of people being admitted to hospital with the virus is continuing to fall. Admissions dropped 19.1 per cent to 668 on Saturday — the latest data figures are available for.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
It is the fifth day in a row hospitalisations fell week-on-week in a glimmer of hope Britain may be turning a corner in the amount of severe disease caused by the third wave.
The fall in admission can be explained in part by the effect of Britain's successful vaccine drive. Some 29,508 first doses were given out yesterday, taking the total amount of adults to have had a jab up to 46.9million — 88.7 per cent of the population.
Meanwhile another 143,002 second doses were put in people's arms, meaning 38.7million (73.2 per cent of adults) are now fully protected against the virus.
It comes as the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises the Government on the vaccine rollout, announced 16- to 17-year-olds will now be offered a first jab.
Health chiefs are now set to recommend all 16 and 17 year olds get jabs, marking a dramatic U-turn.
Just two weeks ago the same expert panel — the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) — advised against doing so.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
As plans to vaccinate children in the are due to be unveiled by No10's scientists, MailOnline answers your questions about the roll-out to youngsters.
When will children be vaccinated?
The Government has not yet given a timeline on when 16 and 17-year-olds can start coming forward for jabs.
But even if the roll-out out to older teenagers begin straight away, there will only be time to give them one dose by the time the school year begins on September 6.
Britain's health chiefs say jabs should be dished out eight weeks apart, in order to give the immune system the biggest boost.
Will jabs be dished out in schools?
Jabs could be administered in schools, like how the HPV vaccine is rolled out for 12 and 13 year old boys and girls.
But Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is expected to push for them to continue to be given at GP surgeries and NHS hubs.
One public health official claimed they could be done either in schools, or in existing vaccination centres at certain times.
What vaccine will youngsters get?
The UK has so far only approved Pfizer's coronavirus jab for use in children over 12.
Moderna's vaccine — which works in a similar way — has not been given the green light for youngsters.
AstraZeneca's injection has been linked to rare blood clots, and health chiefs have already restricted its use to over 40s. Therefore, the British-made vaccine is unlikely to be offered to children.
Over-16s are expected to receive two injections eight weeks apart, mirroring how Pfizer's is given to adults.
Scientists are currently testing nasal spray forms of the Covid vaccine — a method already used to give out children's flu jabs. But none of the candidates being studied have yet to make it out of trials.
Which countries have already began vaccinating children?
Britain is currently the 'outlier', with European countries and the US already giving vaccines to children.
A quarter of children aged 12 to 15 in the US have received two doses, while a third have received one dose.
France, and Spain, Hungary have already starting giving the jab to over-12s, while 10 per cent of children are already vaccinated in Germany.
Meanwhile, Canada, Denmark, Austria, Italy, Lithuania, Estonia, Norway, Switzerland, are expected to start giving youngsters jabs soon.
Israel approved the jabs for over-12s in May and subsequently approved it for 5 to 11-year-olds.
What jabs are they using?
Pfizer has been the go-to jab for vaccinating