DAILY cases of Covid-19 have hit a record high today as infections continue to rise across the country, new data shows.
The rise in figures comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson reassured Brits that they could continue with their festive plans.
He did however caution that the spread of the Omicron variant was fast moving and that further restrictions could not be ruled out.
Data shows that a further 106,122 Brits test positive for the virus.
Sadly a further 140 people have also died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.
Mr Johnson is also being given key health data today that could see fresh restrictions after Christmas and before New Year.
Key stats on hospitalisations are due that could tip the balance on a circuit-breaker if scientists fear Omicron risks swamping the NHS.
Vaccines and booster doses are still being rolled out at break neck speed across the UK.
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The best way to protect yourself and those around you is to come forward for your vaccine if you haven't already and if you've already had two doses, to come forward for your booster dose.
A booster shot is the best protection against Omicron, with early data suggesting it pushes efficacy back up to 75 per cent.
Dr Jenny Harries, UKHSA Chief Executive said: “Once again, we urge everyone who is able to get a booster jab to come forward and do so. It is the best defence we have against this highly transmissible new variant."
The Sun is also urging readers to sign up to the Jabs Army campaign to make the rollout as smooth and fast as possible.
🔵 Read our Covid-19 live blog for the latest updates
Today the NHS announced that texts have been sent to 690,000 people inviting them to book an earlier slot in December for their booster vaccine, as the race against the virus continues at speed.
Millions of vaccines have been delivered and Dr Emily Lawson, director of the NHS Covid-19 Programme said 'no stone has been left unturned' when it comes to protecting people against the virus.
Dr Lawson added: “In a week of records for boosters, with more than 750,000 delivered in one day yesterday, we want even more people to get protected for Christmas.
“So there is no need to delay – when you get your text, come forward and get boosted now.”
ON THE UP
As cases have hit a record high today, hospitalisations are also following.
Coronavirus cases in the UK are now so severe that the government has been forced to add a black colour to its interactive infections map, which shows which parts of the country have the most cases.
The darkest colour had previously been purple.
Government data shows that at present, around 818 people are being admitted to hospital with Covid each day.
This is the highest number since November 22 and is up 4 per cent from a week earlier.
During the second wave of coronavirus, hospital numbers peaked at 39,254 on January 18.
Separate figures from NHS England show that 2,036 people were in hospital in London with Covid-19 as of December 22.
This is the highest number since February 27 and is up 48 per cent from a week earlier.
During the second wave of coronavirus, the number peaked at 7,917 on January 18.
Just yesterday one top doctor revealed that 9 out of 10 patients in intensive care in London were unvaccinated.
Professor Rupert Pearse, an intensive care doctor in London said waiting for hospitalisations to rise would put further pressure on the NHS.
Across England, 7,080 patients were in hospital with Covid-19 on December 22 – the highest number since November 4 and up 11 per centweek-on-week.
The second-wave peak for England was 34,336 on January 18.
The PM has ruled out more measures this side of Christmas but warned he could take action before the New Year if the pandemic picture blackens.
Millions are desperate to see out 2021 with a big blow-out and are praying Boris Johnson doesn't drop bombshell circuit-breaker restrictions.
Much of the decision is expected to hinge on the strain on hospitals in London, the epicentre of the Omicron outbreak.
Ministers reportedly hope to hold off pulling the trigger on more curbs if hospitalisations stay below 400 in the capital.
Mr Johnson will soon also be presented with encouraging findings from government scientists that Omicron is milder than Delta.
The UK Health Security Agency report leaked to the Politico website shows people are much less likely to get really sick than with other mutations.
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