England reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases on Christmas Day, latest figures have revealed.
There were 113,628 infections confirmed on 25 December after a rush to get tested in the days prior.
It’s also been revealed that there were 103,558 on Boxing Day, and 98,515 in the last 24-hour period.
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The government’s dashboard had not been updated with new figures since Christmas Eve, and the newest data is not UK-wide. It does not yet include data for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Wales reported 5,335 cases on Boxing Day.
The data was announced as New Year’s Eve plans in England were given the green light with Sajid Javid confirming the government will not be imposing any further restrictions before the start of 2022.
However, the health secretary said people should “remain cautious” when taking part in New Year’s celebrations – and take a lateral flow test before attending events.
Separately, Scotland has recorded the highest number of daily COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, early data suggests.
It’s worth noting that a lag in reporting means the majority of these cases will relate to tests done before the Christmas break.
Scotland reported 8,252 cases on Christmas day, 11,030 cases on Boxing Day and 10,562 cases on 27 December.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the expected steep rise in cases is now “materialising” and she believes numbers will “rise further in the days ahead”.
On 25 and 26 December, 33,462 people in England and Northern Ireland have received a booster vaccine – there is no update yet for vaccination data for Scotland and Wales.
Hospital admissions are rising, but not “going up in an exponential way”, the chief executive of NHS providers has said.
Chris Hopson told Sky News earlier that there are some early positive signs that this wave will not be as bad as last January, which saw the country plunged into lockdown.
“[Hospitals are] not seeing the numbers of older people who’ve got real respiratory problems, needing critical care, needing very large amounts of oxygen support,” he said.
“We’re just not seeing those numbers at this point that we saw in January 2021.”
It comes as Boris Johnson is not expected to announce any further coronavirus restrictions in England today.
While the prime minister has met with England’s top scientists to talk through the latest data, it is believed there are no plans for Mr Johnson to make an announcement on tightening restrictions following the briefing.
However, new post-Christmas restrictions have been deployed in other parts of the UK.
In Northern Ireland there is a limit of six people – or 10 from a single household – gathering in indoor hospitality settings, with people are “strongly recommended” to reduce inter-household mixing to three households.
In Scotland, nightclubs have been forced to shut their doors while only table service is allowed in places that serve alcohol.
Wales has also closed nightclubs and only six people are allowed to meet in pubs and restaurants. Indoor events have also been capped to 30 people, with outdoor events limited to 50.
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England is currently following Plan B, which includes guidance to work from home, mask-wearing in shops and other public settings and COVID-19 passes are needed to gain entry to some large events.
Mr Johnson is under pressure from some of his own MPs to resist further measures.
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