The UK’s coronavirus hospital death toll has increased by 25 – up from 13 a week ago – with all of the fatalities occurring in England.
Scotland recorded no new deaths for the ninth consecutive day.
Wales reported no new fatalities for the third day in a row. Northern Ireland usually doesn’t announce any new figures at the weekend.
It is the highest single-day increase since 28 deaths were announced on July 14, taking the UK’s hospital total to 33,869.
On recent Saturdays, the death toll increased by 13 on July 18 (the lowest Saturday during the lockdown), 39 on July 11, 44 on July 4, 84 on June 27, and 75 on June 20.
The biggest rise on a Saturday was 917 on April 11, when the UK was going through the peak of the pandemic.
Britain’s official toll of 45,677 fatalities in all settings, including care homes and private residences, will be updated later. It is the third-highest toll in the wold.
The figures were announced on a day when England’s lockdown eased even further to allow indoor gyms and swimming pools to reopen for the first time since late March.
However, a third of public facilities were expected to remain closed.
NHS England reported 25 new deaths.
Scotland has recorded 27 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in a day, according to the latest Scottish Government figures.
A total of 18,547 people have now tested positive for the virus north of the border.
No deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19 have been recorded for nine consecutive days, meaning the toll remains at 2,491.
Wales reported 30 new confirmed cases as its death toll remained at 1,548.
The toll in Northern Ireland is 556. It has not announced any new deaths since July 13.
The percentage of people testing positive remains at 0.7%, the figures indicate, up 0.3% from Friday.
Meanwhile, customers seemed slightly more cautious on the day that wearing face coverings became mandatory in England’s shops, retail footfall data has revealed.
The number of shoppers declined by 0.2% on Friday compared to the previous Friday, following a week of relatively steady increases in traffic to stores and supermarkets, according to data from retail intelligence company Springboard.
Anyone flouting the rules without an exemption risks a £100 fine – reduced to £50 if paid quickly.
Professor John Newton, Public Health England’s director of health improvement, said it was “now clear” that being overweight affects the risk associated with contracting Covid-19 following a study by his organisation.
Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme whether obesity was the “single most important factor” associated with risk of mortality, he said: “That’s probably overstating it – we know that being overweight and living with obesity, if you get coronavirus, makes the illness worse.
“You’re more likely to be admitted to hospital, more likely to need treatment on an intensive care unit, we also know that it does increase your risk of death and it contributes to the various disparities we’ve seen.
“As people get older, there is more obesity and the outcome is worse from Covid as you get older.
“People who live in poorer communities, obesity is significantly associated with that and obesity will explain some but not all of the affects of deprivation on the outcome of Covid.
“And also between different ethnic groups – obesity is substantially different between ethnic groups in this country and that may explain some but again not all of the difference between outcomes in ethnic groups.”
It comes after new research from Public Health England indicated those classified as obese have a 40% greater mortality risk from Covid-19.