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The number of Covid deaths are up by 161 and infections have increased by 51,342 in the last 24 hours.
Last Wednesday the UK recorded 47,614 new cases and 171 new deaths.
The news comes as the UK reported 131 new cases of the Omicron Covid variant, the UK Health Security Agency has announced.
The total total number of confirmed cases of the mutant strain now stands at 568.
However, scientists believe that there are likely many more undetected cases across the UK, with as many as 1,000 people catching Omicron each day.
While the number of cases represents a relatively small proportion of the 40,000-plus infections being detected daily, the highly infectious strain will soon be the dominant one.
Evening Standard / eyevine)
Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, has suggested it will take over from Delta as the primary coronavirus strain the country by Christmas.
He also predicted that Omicron cases will peak in January if no additional measures are taken.
However it has been reported that Brits may face new Covid restrictions this Christmas which could see them working from home and needing vaccine passports to attend crowded venues.
Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)
The threat from the Omicron variant means that Boris Johnson is reportedly considering Plan B for the festive period which could be put in place in the coming days.
Scientists fear that Omicron could be three times more infectious than other variants and have painted a grim picture where 1,000 people in the UK could be catching the new variant each day – while new cases are doubling every three days.
PRU/AFP via Getty Images)
The PM told ministers at a Cabinet meeting that the “early indications are that it is more transmissible than Delta”, the Sun reported.
But Johnson has said that there is no conclusive evidence yet to show that Omicron is worse than other variants.
The idea from the government is to move quickly to slow the spread of Omicron even though no new measures have so far been put in place.
Earlier today the Prime Minister finally “apologised unreservedly” over a No10 Christmas party – but denied all responsibility, continued to claim he was told rules were followed, and threw his own staff under the bus.
Mr Johnson said he was “sickened and furious” at a clip of his own staff laughing about a Christmas bash four days after it happened last December, when lockdown rules banned social gatherings.
After a week of stonewalling questions, and No10 claiming there was no party, the PM announced an investigation by the Cabinet Secretary and disciplinary action if the rules were broken.