London records zero Covid-19 daily deaths for first time in six months

London has recorded zero daily deaths from Covid-19 in a single day for the first time in over six months, official data indicates.

Public Health England (PHE) statistics from Sunday showed no fatalities within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test in the UK capital, while the country as a whole recorded 19 deaths.

The last daily record of zero deaths in the capital was on September 14 before a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic struck Britain.

The data for Covid-19 deaths is usually lower on Mondays due to a lag in authorities reporting numbers over the weekend but the latest stats will be seen as a positive sign given the region was recording more than 200 daily deaths in January.

The news comes as England’s “stay at home” order was lifted Monday and Covid-19 restrictions were eased, allowing two households or groups of up to six people to meet outdoors.

The country has been in full national lockdown since January 4, after a new, more transmissible variant of coronavirus was discovered in southeast England.

Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis courts, swimming pools and golf courses have been permitted to reopen, and organized outdoor sports with an unlimited number of people have been given the thumbs up. Weddings are no longer limited to exceptional circumstances but are only allowed a maximum of six attendees.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged caution amid growing cases elsewhere in Europe.

“I know how much people have missed the camaraderie and competition of organized sport, and how difficult it has been to restrict physical activities — especially for children,” Johnson said. “I know many will welcome the increased social contact, with groups of 6 or two households now also able to meet outdoors.”

The UK has the highest Covid-19 death toll in Europe, with more than 126,000 fatalities, according to a Johns Hopkins University (JHU) tally.

While Monday marks the most significant easing in England since schools returned on March 8, many businesses remain shuttered, people are still being encouraged to work from home where possible, and travel abroad is still prohibited.

The rules are set to be relaxed further in coming weeks provided the UK vaccination program continues unhindered and infection rates don’t surge.

More than 30 million people across the UK have now received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and the country’s National Health

Service is preparing to administer millions of second doses in the coming weeks, according to the UK Department of Health.

The next stage of lockdown easing is due to take place no sooner than April 12 when non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen. At the same time, restaurants and pubs will be able to serve people outdoors.