UK reported daily Covid cases tops 100,000 for first time since pandemic began
On a day of record cases, we also got fresh data on the Omicron variant - ITV News Political Correspondent Daniel Hewitt has the details
The UK has for the first time recorded more than 100,000 new Covid cases in a day.
Daily cases have been rising in the past few days and a further 106,122 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases have been recorded in the UK as of 9am on Wednesday, the government said.
It is the largest daily rise in confirmed infections since the pandemic began.
A further 140 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for the coronavirus.
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Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have now been 173,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
A total of 8,008 Covid patients are in hospital in the UK, as of Tuesday, and 849 are on ventilation beds.
The number of Covid patients in hospital is the highest since November 22 and is up 4% from a week earlier. During the second wave of coronavirus, hospital numbers peaked at 39,254 on January 18.
The UK has recorded 11,647,473 infections since the start of the pandemic and 147,573 deaths related to the virus.
What changes will Wales and Northern Ireland be seeing after Christmas?
The latest figures come as Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed there would be no further Covid restrictions in England before Christmas.
But in Scotland and Wales, further measures are coming in.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs on Tuesday that outdoor public events in Scotland will be capped at 500 from Boxing Day for at least three weeks, and numbers at indoor public events are to be limited to 100 standing or 200 seated.
Sporting events in Wales will also be played behind closed doors in an attempt to control Omicron.
Economy minister Vaughan Gething announced the measures on Tuesday, and told ITV News that new restrictions around “hospitality and a range of other things” will be announced on Wednesday and come into force after Christmas.
Northern Ireland ministers are discussing what measures to take next.
There have been 95,795 new Covid cases in the latest 24-hour period, bringing the total number of infections since the start of the pandemic to 9,905,451.
The country recorded 123 more Covid-related deaths, raising the death toll to 128,289.
As of Tuesday, 7,080 Covid patients are in hospital and 745 are on ventilation.
There were 4,662 more positive Covid tests in Wales, bringing the total number of infections to 566,995.
Meanwhile, three more Covid-related deaths were recorded. Wales has a Covid death toll of 6,525.
330 patients were in hospital with Covid, authorities reported - 29 of who were on ventilation beds.
Authorities in Scotland reported 2,434 new Covid infections and 11 more deaths related to the virus.
There were also 536 Covid patients in hospital on Tuesday - 40 were on ventilation beds.
Scotland has had a total of 814,359 coronavirus infections since the start of last year and 9,801 Covid-related deaths.
In Northern Ireland, 3,231 more Covid cases were reported and three more deaths.
Meanwhile, 261 coronavirus patients were in hospital on Tuesday. 26 were on ventilation beds.
The nation has had a total of 360,668 infections and 2,958 deaths related to the virus.