The number of weekly registered deaths involving the coronavirus has fallen to the lowest level since the lockdown was first introduced.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 3 July involving COVID-19 was 532.
This is the lowest number of deaths linked to the virus in the last 15 weeks, according to the ONS.
In the week that Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown in March, 539 deaths involving COVID-19 were registered.
Meanwhile, the figures show that five regions in England had deaths below the five-year average in the week ending 3 July.
According to the ONS, these regions were:
- The West Midlands (2.1% below)
- Yorkshire & the Humber (2.2% below)
- North West England (4.1% below)
- Eastern England (5.1% below)
- South West England (6.1% below)
Meanwhile, four regions had deaths above the five-year average in the same time period:
- North East England (7.1% above)
- The East Midlands (7.0% above)
- South East England (3.3% above)
- London (0.5% above)
In Wales, the number of deaths registered in the week to July 3 was 5.2% above the five-year average.
In total, 9,140 deaths were registered in England and Wales in the week up to 3 July.
This is 43 fewer than the five-year average of 9,183.
It is the third week in a row that deaths have been below the five-year average.
In care homes and hospitals, the number of deaths was also below the five-year average (88 and 634 deaths lower respectively), while the number of deaths in private homes was 755 higher than the five-year average.
According to the ONS, more than 50,548 deaths involving the virus have been recorded in England and Wales during the outbreak.
The number of deaths involving the coronavirus in care homes in England that were registered by 3 July was 14,332, it added.