A total of 20,530 more people tested positive for COVID-19, raising the total to 830,998, according to British government data released on Friday.

The death toll increased by 224 over the past day to reach 44,571.

Local media reported that Warrington, a town in the north of England, will move to Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions, the country’s highest level.

Parts of Nottinghamshire, in central England, are expected to follow suit in the near future.

Government data also showed that the UK’s rate of infection, or R number, has decreased slightly but is still over 1.

From between 1.3 and 1.5 last week, it came down to 1.2 and 1.5 this week, according to latest data.

This means every 10 people infected go on to infect 12 to 15 others; the government’s aim is to reduce the R number below 1 to curb the virus’ spread.

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