British health authorities announced on Wednesday that the total number of deaths from coronavirus across the UK had exceeded 42,000, with a further 184 deaths over the last 24 hours.

The Department of Health reported: “As of 5pm on 16 June, of those tested positive for coronavirus, across all settings, 42,153 have sadly died.”

The nationwide tally of cases has reached 299,251.

At the daily press briefing, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said he was hopeful tourism would begin in England after July 4 and that football fans could return to stadiums next season.

He added that the return of Premier League football tonight was “an important step forward in our careful journey back towards normality.”

After originating in China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has spread to at least 188 countries and regions.

The pandemic has killed nearly 446,000 people worldwide with more than 8.26 million confirmed cases, while recoveries have surpassed 3.97 million, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University of the US.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.