Hospitals across south-east England have begun cancelling non-urgent operations with some struggling to cope with twice the number of patients they had in the spring. It comes as UK government sources warned of concerns that the new variant of Covid-19 could be more infectious and harder to contain. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was hoping to avoid a third national lockdown in England but acknowledged that rates of infection had increased very much over recent weeks. New data surgests the UK’s R number — or reproduction rate of coronavirus – is on the rise again. It is now estimated to be between 1.1 and 1.2. Anything above 1 means the number of cases is growing. Sophie Raworth presents BBC News at Ten reporting by health editor Hugh Pym.