While infection rates are beginning to level off following a sharp increase when UK students started university a few weeks ago, Tuesday saw the highest number of daily coronavirus-related deaths since May.

The new death figure is likely to strengthen the hand of health professionals calling for stronger restrictions.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that more discipline was needed to deal with the pandemic.

“We know how we can protect ourselves. We can proceed with a more targeted response. But we also see with the rising numbers that if we do not stick to what we know about the virus, we get ourselves back into situations are that are decidedly difficult.”

A meeting with German regional leaders has been brought forward to Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Italy and Spain have seen violent demonstrations against heightened coronavirus restrictions. The French government is also mulling tightening the screws with earlier nightly curfews, and even a weekend lockdown.

FILE PHOTO: Boris Johnson. Reuters