UK Covid cases soar by 91,743 in 2nd biggest day EVER and up 68% on last Monday


Boris Johnson is heading an ’emergency’ Cabinet meeting to discuss the rapid spread of the Omicron Covid variant across the UK amid warnings of up to 6,000 deaths a day

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Coronavirus: UK cases up by 91,743 as Omicron spreads

A further 91,743 Covid cases have been recorded in the UK as ministers consider fresh Covid restrictions in England.

Boris Johnson is heading an ’emergency’ Cabinet meeting to discuss the country’s spirally infections as the Omicron variant takes hold across Britain.

The Prime Minister is said to be considering a ban on indoor household mixing after Christmas in a bid to control the spread of the new strain.

It comes after a damning new picture emerged of Mr Johnson enjoying wine and cheese with his wife and more than a dozen staff members in the Downing Street garden.

The image was taken in May 2020 when the country was under lockdown and social mixing between households was limited to two people outdoors.

Infections reached an all-time high on December 17 with 93,045 infections logged – and today’s daily tally is way up on last Monday when 54,661 cases were recorded.

The UK Health Security Agency today confirmed a further 8,044 Omicron cases in the UK.

Covid cases hit an all-time high in the UK on December 17
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Image:

Press Association Images)

Coronavirus cases are soaring across the country
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Mark Thomas/REX/Shutterstock)

Although hospitalisations have so far remained relatively flat across much of the country, they are on the rise in London which was one of the first Omicron hotspots.

Meanwhile, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) warned that Covid deaths could hit up to 6,000 per day if the Government fails to act.

No10 is now weighing up different options to fight the variant, with Mr Johnson reportedly preferring guidance to mandatory rules, according to a Cabinet minister.

A two-week circuit breaker lockdown is one of the plans being considered within Government, reports say.

Britain has stepped up its vaccination efforts to tackle the Omicron variant
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

Under ‘Step 2’ rules, people would only be able to mix indoors for work purposes, while pubs and restaurants would have to serve people outside again.

Outside meetings would have to stick to the ‘rule of six’ and shielding would return for people who are vulnerable.

However, SAGE scientist Professor Stephen Reicher previously said that restrictions after Christmas would “probably” be too late, and urged the government to “act now”.

Mr Johnson is anxious to avoid a repeat of last year’s Christmas shambles.

Just over a year ago the Prime Minister placed much of the country under Tier 4 restrictions, banning indoor mixing and shutting non-essential shops.

He is under pressure to avoid introducing new restrictions amid a potential rebellion among Tory MPs.

Almost 100 Conservative MPs voted against the Government in opposition to an element of Mr Johnson’s ‘Plan B’, which introduced Covid passes.

The Prime Minister has also faced criticism over his party’s loss in the North Shropshire by-election and a picture of him, his wife and staff during lockdown.

The picture of the PM snacking with his colleagues and wife in the Downing Street garden comes after a string of selfish Tory partying allegations while strict coronavirus restrictions were in place.

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In the latest picture bottles of wine are seen on the table where Mr Johnson sat with his wife, with large chunks of cheese on a plate close by.

But in a statement to the Mirror, No10 stressed there was no wrong-doing.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “As we said last week, work meetings often take place in the Downing Street garden in the summer months. On this occasion there were staff meetings following a No10 press conference.

“Downing Street is the Prime Minister’s home as well as his workplace. The Prime Minister’s wife lives in No10 and therefore also legitimately uses the garden.”

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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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