A further 4,369 cases of people with Covid have been seen in the last 24 hours. The figures added that an additional 11 people have died from the virus, bringing the national total to of deaths 41,788.
It comes as the nation’s chief scientists warn the rate of fatalities could continue to rise to 200 or more deaths per day if the virus is allowed to continue to spread at its current rate.
Following this worrying rise in infections The Joint Biosecurity Centre has recommended that the Covid-19 alert level should move from Level 3 (general circulation) to Level 4 (general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially).
Tom Rayner from Sky News Tweeted: “Chief Medical Officers of the UK issue statement confirming Joint Biosecurity Centre has increased Covid-19 alert level. Shift means epidemic has gone from “general circulation” (level 3) to “high transmission or rising exponentially” (level 4).”
Panic-buying customers have begun stockpiling toilet roll and food at some supermarkets, following suggestions of an incoming second lockdown.
Reduced-price food aisles and hygiene sections at some stores were left depleted in scenes familiar to March and early April, after the Government warned of rising coronavirus cases across the UK.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will update MPs on the Covid-19 situation on Tuesday, amid mounting expectation that he will announce new measures to curb the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, a director at the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has urged consumers to be considerate of others and “shop as you normally would” – though he added supply chains are currently “stronger than ever”.
Despite scenes at some stores, supermarket giants Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Aldi told PA they had “good availability” on Monday and have not experienced any shortages yet.
Tesco added its online capacity had almost doubled from 600,000 weekly delivery slots in March, to 1.5 million in September.
Director of food and sustainability at the BRC, Andrew Opie, said: “Supply chains are stronger than ever before and we do not anticipate any issues in the availability of food or other goods under a future lockdown.
“Nonetheless, we urge consumers to be considerate of others and shop as they normally would.”
He added that retailers have done an “excellent job” making sure customers have access to food throughout the pandemic, while installing perspex screens and other social distancing measures.
“As such, retail remains a safe space for consumers, even under future lockdowns,” he said.