Covid: Daily coronavirus cases hit new high of 60,000 for the first time since beginning of pandemic
A further 60,916 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in the UK – the highest daily total reported so far.
It brings the total number of UK cases, as of 9am on Tuesday, to to 2,774,479.
Yvonne Doyle, medical director for Public Health England, said: "The rapid rise in cases is highly concerning and will sadly mean yet more pressure on our health services in the depths of winter.
"That is why if we can, we must stay at home, reduce contact and do everything possible to break the spread of this virus.
"It is by no means easy, but now more than ever we must all do our part to protect the NHS and save lives."
The Government said a further 830 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Tuesday, bringing the UK total death toll to 76,305.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 92,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.
It comes as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated 1 in 50 people in private households in England had Covid-19 between December 27 and January 2.
As of Tuesday morning, a further 54,940 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases were confirmed in England.
It brings the total number of cases in England since the pandemic began to nearly 2.4 million.
A further 582 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 52,395, NHS England said on Tuesday.
Patients were aged between 29 and 103. All except 25, aged between 56 and 101, had known underlying health conditions.
The deaths were between November 5 and January 4, with the majority being on or after January 1.
There were 20 other deaths reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.
In Scotland, a further 2,529 positive cases of coronavirus were recorded, bringing the total number to 139,027.
A further 11 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test were reported.
There have been a further 2,069 cases of coronavirus in Wales, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 159,278.
Public Health Wales reported another 17 deaths, taking the total in Wales since the start of the pandemic to 3,662.
A further 1,378 coronavirus cases were reported in Northern Ireland on Tuesday bringing the total of cases to 81,251.
There were a further 18 deaths reported.