A record 35,383 daily coronavirus infections have been confirmed by the Department of Health due to a backlog of unreported cases.
Today’s figures bring the UK’s total number of cases since the pandemic began to 1,948,660.
The Department of Health said today’s numbers include ‘around 11,000 previously unreported cases for Wales as a result of system maintenance in the NHS Wales Laboratory Information Management System’.
Another 532 people have died within 28 days of testing positive, putting the official death toll at 66,052.
But separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate puts the total at 76,287.
It comes after millions of people in the East and South East of England were told they would be plunged into tier three coronavirus restrictions from 00.01am on Saturday.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the Commons that the vast majority of the country would remain in the same levels, including huge parts of the North, many of which have been subject to tougher rules for some time.
However Bristol and North Somerset will come out of tier three and be placed into tier two, and Herefordshire will drop down into tier one.
Weekly data from Public Health England shows Covid-19 cases have been rising in all but one region.
London had the highest infection rate, with 319.3 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to December 13, up from 199.9 in the previous week.
The only region that recorded a week-on-week fall was Yorkshire & the Humber, where the rate dropped slightly from 153.6 to 148.5.
More to follow.
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