Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing increased pressure to issue a second lockdown as the UK recorded its highest daily Covid-19 death toll since May.

The PM is facing renewed pressure as fears mount over the second wave of the virus.

Mr Johnson is also facing calls from northern Conservative MPs to detail a roadmap out of local lockdowns.

With total deaths involving the virus reaching 61,000 across the nation, Downing Street did not deny a projection provided by Government scientists which suggested the toll could remain high throughout the winter and result in more fatalities than in the spring.

The Telegraph reported the analysis shared by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has lead to intense lobbying from experts including chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Valance to take more drastic action.

Receive newsletters with the latest news, sport and what's on updates from the Liverpool ECHO by signing up here.

A Government spokeswoman said ministers were receiving advice from a "wide range of scientific and medical experts" and that the latest figures are "concerning".

On Tuesday, the Government said that a further 367 people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, while there were another 22,885 lab-confirmed cases of the virus.

The number of deaths is the highest daily figure since May 27, when 422 deaths were reported.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, warned the rising death toll from Covid-19 was likely to "continue for some time".

Thousands could self-isolate 'needlessly'

Plans to test 10 million people a day could see tens of thousands of people self-isolating needlessly, experts have said.

Plans being developed under Operation Moonshot will reportedly see 10 million people tested every day at a cost of £100 billion.

But academics have said that under the plans around 10,000 people could receive a false positive each day.

This will result in "unnecessary isolation and hardship" for these people and their contacts, they said.

The system, headed by former TalkTalk boss Baroness Harding, has come under significant scrutiny.

And now academics from the universities of Glasgow, St Andrews and Newcastle have said:

"A new strategy is required, with clinical input, clinical oversight and integration into local primary care and public health systems".

They claim that the decision to separate local public health departments and GP systems from the private sector testing system may have led to "delayed outbreak control".

"In setting up a parallel testing system in the private sector, local public health departments and primary care were separated from the testing system.

"As a result, the statutory notification system for reporting suspected cases was not followed.

"This resulted in poor community data which is likely to have delayed outbreak control."

"Despite the failings of this largely private, highly centralised NHS Test and Trace system, it has been reported that the government intends to scale up testing to deliver weekly tests for the whole population.

"Deloitte and a slew of commercial companies are being contracted to deliver them under Operation Moonshot, a plan to ramp up tests to 10 million a day, at a cost of 100 billion pounds - 70% of the annual NHS budget for England.

"Ten million tests a day will generate 10,000 people testing falsely positive a day and result in unnecessary isolation and hardship for them and their contacts."

The test and trace system will "continue to be ineffective" if it does not consider local public health and general practice expertise, the researchers added.

They conclude:

"We call on the Westminster government to end privatisation of testing and to reinstate and invest in NHS primary care, public health, and NHS laboratory services, and redirect the resources from the current private testing programmes back into the local primary care, local NHS labs and local public health sector."

Make a joint plan for safe travel at Christmas, ministers urge

Christmas lights in Liverpool city centre (Image: Jason Roberts photography)

Uniform guidance for family gatherings at Christmas must be devised between all four nations of the UK, political leaders have been urged.

Boris Johnson, Nicola Sturgeon, Mark Drakeford and Arlene Foster were warned that their governments must "accept the inevitability" that people will travel over the festive period.

The call came in a letter from the Liberal Democrats in Scotland, Wales and England - together with the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland.

They said guidance cannot be made in isolation given the "interlinked" nature of life in the UK, and called for a "four nations summit" to agree a plan.

The letter states:

"It therefore falls on you and your counterparts to work across governments to explore workable solutions that can enable travel to happen safely.

"To manage the implications for public health, we are urging you to hold a four nations summit to co-operate on students' return, to agree uniform guidance on the number of people who can gather, and to explore how best to expand travel options to allow social distancing."

It is signed by Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey, as well as his Scottish counterpart Willie Rennie, Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds and Alliance Party deputy leader Stephen Farry.

Sir Ed said:

"No one country can manage this challenge in isolation. The fractured rules across the UK have already been incredibly difficult to piece together.

"We need a four nations summit to agree on one set of uniform guidance for Christmas that works for families across the UK. Ministers across Britain need to start work on it now."

Despite the UK taking a near uniform approach to lockdown restrictions at the start of the coronavirus crisis in March, the picture across the country is now more fragmented.

In Scotland, First Minister Ms Sturgeon has said her Government is looking at phased term dates and possible testing of students, and issues of people returning home where there are vulnerable people.

Welsh First Minister Mr Drakeford has said the current "firebreak" restrictions should give a pathway to Christmas "without needing a period of this severity of restraint between now and then".

And in England, Downing Street has said it is the Government's "ambition to ensure that people may celebrate Christmas as a family this year".

Good morning

Good morning and welcome to our live blog.

We'll be bringing you the latest updates as they happen today.