England and Wales are experiencing fewer deaths than would normally be expected for the fifth week in a row, as deaths involving coronavirus continue to fall.
For the first time since before lockdown, there were less than 300 deaths linked to Covid-19 registered over one week, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
There were 295 deaths involving Covid-19 in the week ending July 17 – the lowest number registered since the week ending March 20 and down almost a fifth from 366 deaths in the previous week.
While overall deaths in England and Wales remain below the five-year average for this time of year, there were 133 more deaths registered compared with the previous week.
There were 270 fewer deaths than the five-year average in the week ending July 17.
The number of deaths in care homes, hospitals and other communal establishments has remained below the five-year average.
However, there were 766 more deaths above what would normally be expected in private homes.
In all but two regions – the East and West Midlands – deaths were below the five-year average.
The number of deaths involving Covid-19 decreased or remained the same across all English regions, except for the South East and South West.
The South East had the largest number and highest proportion of deaths involving Covid-19 out of all regions in England and Wales.
The ONS figures show that just over 56,400 deaths involving Covid-19 have now been registered in the UK.
Some 51,366 deaths involving Covid-19 occurred in England and Wales up to July 17, and had been registered by July 25.
Adding together equivalent figures on deaths registered in Scotland up to July 19 and in Northern Ireland up to July 22, this takes the UK total to 56,409 deaths, including suspected cases.