THE DAILY number of Covid cases has jumped up by 10 per cent as the number of virus-related deaths also leaped over the last week.
The substantial increase in the figures has raised fears Brits could be in for a tough winter of restrictions if they continue to rise.
Another 32,417 coronavirus cases and 58 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hour period, marking a considerable leap since last Sunday.
Seven days ago there were 29,612 new cases and 58 deaths, according to the figures from the weekly survey by the Office for National Statistics.
One in 90 people in England has now had Covid - amounting to around 620,100 Brits in total, testing by the ONS revealed.
That's down by 18 per cent from two weeks ago, when one in 70 tested positive and total infections totted up to around 754,000.
The ONS random swab testing of 150,000 people is regarded by the government as the most reliable measurement of Covid's grasp on the country.
Another study released by the ONS showed Covid has now been mentioned on the death certificates of 160,000 deaths in the UK.
The government announced 122 people have died within 28 days of a positive Covid test result as of today, bringing the total to 136,105.
As of 9am on Saturday, there had been a further 31,348 lab-confirmed Covid cases in the UK, the Government said.
It comes after infections and the R-rate plunged, despite fears the new school term could have fuelled a damaging surge.
It is hoped the continuing vaccination programme and the rollout of booster jabs for the vulnerable will help stifle the spread during the colder months.
Government scientists say the R-rate is now between 0.8 and 1 in England - the first time it's been below 1 since March.
ONS study leader Kara Steel said: "Infection levels have decreased in England for the first time in several weeks, though rates remain generally high across the UK.
"It’s encouraging that infection rates have continued to decrease among young adults, possibly reflecting the impact of the vaccination programme."
Currently, infections are highest in secondary school children.
A whopping one in 35 pupils is currently testing positive, although infections are remaining flat or even decreasing in other age groups.
The death toll rose by 41 per cent in the last week - but the number of positive cases dropped by over 50 per cent.
However, jabs are now being rolled out in schools with the aim that kids will never be forced out of class again.
Elsewhere, hospital admissions have dropped by 16 per cent over the past week.
An average of 572 people are being admitted to wards in England a day, roughly half the number predicted in Sage's best-case scenario.
However, Boris Johnson warned tough restrictions may yet return this winter.
Under the PM's "plan B", compulsory masks, vaccine passports and working from home could be introduced.
During an address to the nation, Prof Chris Whitty warned: "Winter is coming, and people should still take this seriously."
Mr Johnson said he has a "number of shots in the locker" to prevent a spike that could threaten the NHS - but "wouldn't necessarily play them all at once."