More than 700,000 Brits face forced isolation on Christmas Day as Omicron rips through UK

Yet again the UK set an unwelcome record today, with 122,186 people testing positive for Covid – the highest daily figure of the pandemic so far.

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Covid-19: More than 120,000 cases in 24 hours in the UK

Nearly three quarters of a million Brits potentially face Christmas Day in isolation as Omicron tears through the country.

Yet again the UK set an unwelcome record today, with 122,186 people testing positive for Covid – the highest daily figure of the pandemic so far.

It means a massive 707,306 people have been confirmed to have the virus in the past week.

Under current rules in England those with the virus need to isolate for at least seven days, only leaving their homes after two negative lateral flow tests.

And unvaccinated contacts of positive Covid-19 cases in England still need to stay at home for 10 days after being exposed to the virus, the rules state.

Tens of thousands will be unable to mix with their families at Christmas


Rick Findler / Story Picture Agency)

In Scotland the isolation period remains 10 days, while household contacts are required to stay at home if someone they live with tests positive.

This means that the number of people forced to stay at home could be as high as between 800,000 and 900,000.

Many have voiced their woes on social media after learning that their Christmas plans were scuppered.

One frustrated teacher posted: “Can’t help thinking that if teachers had been allowed to work from home last week in line with general advice, then me and numerous colleagues (and who knows how many of our students) wouldn’t have Covid and have to be isolating this Christmas.”

Many Brits face isolation due to the resurgent virus


Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Another wrote: “Isolating for Christmas woohoo it’s the latest 2021 trend.”

And one Twitter user posted: “My 18-year-old is positive for COVID. I’m negative (we’re in the same house). We’re all isolating. Feels like Christmas 2020 all over again.”

In a bleak Christmas Eve update, the Department of Health confirmed that cases have risen by an alarming 48.2 per cent week-on-week as Omicron rips through the country.

It means that in the past week more than 700,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus.

Hospitalisations climbed by eight per cent in a week, with latest data showing 1,171 Covid-related admissions in 24 hours


A week ago there were 93,045 cases and 111 deaths, while a fortnight ago 58,194 infections were confirmed alongside 120 deaths.

The UK Health Security Agency today said it had confirmed 114,625 Omicron infections so far, with more than 100,000 of these in England.

Analysis last night suggested a person with Omicron Covid is “50 to 70% less likely to be admitted to hospital” than a person with the Delta.

UK Health Security Agency chief Dr Jenny Harries said while it was only early data, it did give a “glimmer of Christmas hope”.

But SAGE, which considered some of the evidence yesterday, also warned Omicron has so far largely infected younger people who are less likely to get seriously ill.

“As infections move into older age groups, a large wave of hospital admissions should be expected,” SAGE’s minutes say.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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