The UK has reported a new record of 183,037 daily COVID cases, according to government data.
The latest figures include five days of infection data from Northern Ireland – 22,972 cases – due to a delay in reporting over Christmas.
Of the total number of 183,037, 138,287 cases were in England (yesterday it was 117,093), 15,849 were in Scotland (yesterday it was 9,360), and 5,929 were in Wales (yesterday it was 12,378).
It is the first time since December 24 that all four British nations have published daily case numbers.
The increase in cases, triggered by the very transferable Omicron variant, also coincides with an increase in the number of patients in the hospital who tested positive for coronavirus.
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Another 57 people have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive coronavirus sample.
The figures compare to a previous daily high of 129,471 cases and 18 COVID-related deaths reported yesterday, while 109,655 cases and 140 deaths were recorded this time last week.
More than 90% of cases in England and about 80% of cases in Scotland is now the Omicron variant, it has also been revealed.
That comes when a further 1,213 people with COVID were admitted to the UK on 21 December – the latest figure for daily data and the highest since 19 February, when there were 1,274.
That brings the total number at the hospital to 8,246, according to the government’s daily dashboard. It is the highest since November 16, when there were 8,478.
In the UK, 1,751 COVID patients were admitted on 27 December – the highest since 5 February, and a total of 10,462 COVID patients have been admitted – the highest since 1 March.
In London, the data show that 437 COVID patients were admitted to hospital on 27 December – the first time daily admissions have exceeded 400 since 1 February, when there were 421.
NHS data suggest that on 21 December, 71% of COVID patients in UK hospitals were primarily treated for the virus.
The remaining 29% were there “with COVID”, indicating that they tested positive on arrival for another disorder or tested positive during their stay.
Some doctors call this latter group random COVID patients.
At vaccinations in the UK, 23,859 more people have received their first dose, bringing the total to 51,705,406.
A further 29,534 people have received their second inoculation, meaning that 47,324,308 are now double-sided.
And a combined total of 33,091,891 booster and third-dose doses have also been given, a day-to-day increase of 325,087.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has urged the public to enjoy the New Year celebration in a “careful and sensible way” while continuing to push the vaccine program forward.
The prime minister urged people to book booster jabs or first and second dose, as he said the vast majority of people on intensive care have not been given a booster.
No new restrictions are brought in for England ahead of New Year’s Eve, while nightclubs in Scotland and Wales are currently not allowed to open and the rule of six is in place for pubs and restaurants in Wales.
In Scottish pubs, one meter must be kept between the tables, groups of people meeting will be limited to three households, and alcohol must be served at the table.
Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that is her “expectation”. new COVID restrictions in Scotland will be in place until 17 January, when she urged people to “stay home right now more than usual”.