British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has moved out of intensive care as he continues to recover from Covid-19.

"The Prime Minister has been moved this evening from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery," a spokesman said.

"He is in extremely good spirits."

Mr Johnson, 55, was admitted to St Thomas' Hospital on Sunday evening with a persistent high temperature and cough, and was taken to intensive care on Monday where he has since spent three nights receiving treatment.

It comes as a further 881 people who tested positive for coronavirus in the UK have died, bringing the country's total toll to 7,978.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is in charge as Mr Johnson remains in hospital, announced the figures as he warned that the country had not "yet reached the peak of the virus".

Mr Raab said the government would not be able to say more about the duration of the lockdown until late next week.

He said the government will continue to follow the strategy to combat the coronavirus set out by Mr Johnson and that his cabinet will collectively make necessary decisions.

Earlier, a spokesperson had said Mr Johnson continued to improve while in intensive care and was in good spirits, adding he had been receiving standard oxygen treatment. 

"The prime minister thanks the NHS for the brilliant care which it is providing. The clap for carers has provided wonderful, unifying moments for the entire country." 

The British government is facing two major issues: how to finance a vast increase in state spending to support the shuttered economy, and the timing of lifting lockdown measures.

As the world's fifth largest economy faces potentially the worst economic hit since World War II amid soaring spending, the government said it had expanded its overdraft facility with the Bank of England.

The Bank of England has agreed temporarily to finance government borrowing in response to Covid-19 if funds cannot immediately be raised from debt markets, reviving a measure last used to any significant degree during the 2008 financial crisis.

The government and BoE said any borrowing from the Ways and Means facility - effectively the government's overdraft with the BoE - would be repaid by the end of the year.

The UK is entering what scientists say is the deadliest phase of the outbreak, with deaths expected to continue to rise over the Easter weekend.

London's mayor and the Welsh government have both said the lockdown would stay in place.

The number of coronavirus infections and hospital admissions in Britain is beginning to show signs of flattening, said Stephen Powis, medical director of the National Health Service, indicating the shutdown measures were working.

"We are starting to see a plateauing - the first signs of a plateauing of infections and hospitalisations," Mr Powis told reporters.

"We are beginning to see the benefits I believe, but the really critical thing is that we have to continue following instructions - we have to continue following social distancing, because if we don't the virus will start to spread again."

Total UK hospital deaths from Covid-19 rose by a daily record of 938 to 7,097 as of 5pm on Tuesday.