The UK has recorded 223 COVID-19 deaths within 28 days of a positive test in the biggest daily jump since early March.
A further 43,738 coronavirus cases were also recorded.
It is the biggest jump in daily deaths from COVID-19 since 9 March, when 231 people died within 28 days of a positive test.
And it comes after the UK reported 49,156 cases of COVID-19 on Monday – the highest number since 17 July when 54,674 cases were recorded.
On Monday the UK also reported 45 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.
The figures compare to last Tuesday, 12 October, when the UK reported 181 deaths within 28 days of a positive test and 38,520 cases.
Adam Finn, a professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol and a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), says the “very rapid rise” in the number of cases in the UK is a “reflection of how people are behaving”.
He told Sky News “nobody” appears to be wearing masks inside anymore, adding he doubts people are doing lateral flow tests.
Professor Finn said: “There’s a general sense that life’s gone back to normal and as a result the infection is being passed around.”
He says unless there’s a “clear message put out that that we’ve got more infection going on now than at any point in the pandemic”, despite fewer hospitalisations, people are “not really going to take precaution”.
Asked if he expects another lockdown, he says: “I sincerely hope not.
“I do think we need to make a bit more of an effort to communicate to people that unless they all make an effort to reduce transmission of the virus it’s going to go on circulating and being a problem.
“We can all contribute to doing that without having a lockdown or massively disrupting our lives.”
He also defended the vaccine rollout, saying it’s going “forward as fast as can be arranged”.