MORE than 70,000 people have died in the UK as a result of contracting coronavirus, alarming new figures show.

The total is based on the latest available reports on death registrations, plus more recent data on the Conservative Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

Figures published yesterday by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency show 1227 deaths involving Covid-19 had occurred in Northern Ireland up to November 13 and had been registered by November 18.

Separate figures published earlier this week by the National Records of Scotland showed 5135 deaths involving Covid-19 had been registered in Scotland up to November 15.

And a total of 59,549 coronavirus-related deaths occurred in England and Wales up to November 6 and had been registered up to November 14, according to the latest report from the Office for National Statistics.

Together, these figures mean that so far 65,911 deaths have been registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

But since these statistics were compiled, a further 4343 deaths are known to have occurred in the UK, according to additional data published on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

The grim news of the death toll came as around 2.3 million Scots entered level 4 restrictions, close to the full lockdown situation in Spring.

The most populated parts of Scotland, including Glasgow, Stirling and Lanarkshire, moved from level 3 to level 4 of the Scottish Government’s five-tier system at 6pm last night. They will remain in place until 6pm on December 11.

Across 11 council areas, non-essential shops, hospitality, gyms and hairdressers will be forced to close and people will be told to stay at home as much as possible.

A ban will also come into law restricting people in level 3 and level 4 areas from travelling outside of their council boundaries and on all Scots from entering other parts of the UK or Ireland.

In some of the affected areas shoppers headed to stock up on Christmas presents ahead of the restrictions coming into force.

In Glasgow city centre, queues built up outside shops including Lush, Zara and Jo Malone, despite the cold and wet conditions.

Speaking during the Scottish Government’s daily coronavirus briefing, the First Minister said 32 deaths from coronavirus and 1018 positive tests had been recorded in the previous 24 hours.

She also said the new travel restrictions on higher-level areas are “vital” to ensure there is no need for a national lockdown.

She urged Scots to abide by the new regulations, which could see a £60 fine levied against those who violate the rules unless they have a “reasonable excuse”, such as a hospital appointment.

The First Minister admitted to being “utterly scunnered and fed up” with new coronavirus restrictions. But she said life could return to some semblance of normality by spring, with the Scottish Government hoping to have vaccinated one million Scots by the end of January.

“These restrictions are difficult and we are all scunnered and fed up, and I’m not going to stand here and pretend otherwise because I feel that same sense of being utterly scunnered and fed up as the rest of you do,” she said.

While she said infections rates have stabilised in recent weeks, they had stabilised at a stubbornly high level in some areas. She said the new restrictions will help infection rates come down further before the Christmas period.

“The fact is the fewer people who are in the population who have Covid by the time we get to Christmas, the lower the risk of people being infected with it during that period,” she said.

On Thursday, the First Minister said the chief medical officers of the UK nations have been tasked with developing a “concrete” proposal for household mixing, which may be revealed next week.