The number of patients in hospital with Covid-19 in the UK has risen above 2,000 to its highest level for nearly three months.
A total of 2,140 patients were in hospital on July 4, according to the latest Government figures.
This is up 35% from the previous week, and is the highest since April 15.
The number has been rising slowly since hitting a low of 870 on May 27.
The latest figures are still well below those recorded at the peak of the second wave, however.
A total of 39,254 Covid-19 patients were in hospital on January 18 – the highest at any point since the pandemic began.
Separate figures for hospital admissions at a national and regional level show that in two areas of the country, patient numbers are back to levels last seen in March.
North-west England recorded 570 patients with Covid-19 on July 6 – the highest number since March 31, according to analysis by the PA news agency.
And in Scotland, 346 patients were in hospital with Covid-19 on July 5: the highest number since March 22.
The data reflects the growing impact on hospitals of the third wave of coronavirus cases, which is continuing to spread across the whole of the UK.
Speaking at the Downing Street press conference on Monday, the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said that infections are “going up” and that “the link between cases and hospitalisations and cases and deaths is weakened but not completely broken, and we would expect to see some further increase”.
“We are in the face of an increasing epidemic at the moment and therefore we need to behave accordingly in terms of trying to limit transmission,” he added.