Matt Hancock tells audience ‘stay home unless you need to go’
This brings the total number of cases in the UK to 2,488,780. An additional 964 people have also died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-1. This brings the total number of people who have died from coronavirus in the UK to 73,512. Data as of Wednesday had shown 50,023 new coronavirus infections and 981 deaths.
Separately, figs released by UK statistical agencies for deaths for which coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate, as well as additional data on deaths in recent days, show that there have now been 89,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.
Public Health England medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle warned it was “imperative that we all act now to protect our families and friends”.
She urged people to continue to follow the guidelines, especially with the countdown to early 2021.
Dr Doyle said: “We know that the overwhelming majority of deaths reported today are people who have sadly passed away in recent days.
55,892 more Covid cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, with 964 more deaths
“Every life lost due to this disease is a sadness.
“It is imperative that we all act now to protect our families and friends.
“We’ve all had to make huge sacrifices this year, but be sure to stay away from others, wash your hands and wear a mask.
“A New Years night will mean you drastically reduce your social contact and may help stop the spread of the virus.”
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Millions more people have been affected by level 4 restrictions
The Department of Health also revealed that nearly one million people in the UK had received a COVID-19 vaccine as of December 27.
A total of 944,539 people received a first dose between December 9 and 27.
This includes 786,000 in England, 92,188 in Scotland, 35,335 in Wales and 31,016 in Northern Ireland.
More than three-quarters of England’s population have been plunged into Level 4 restrictions following the latest announcements by Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Wednesday.
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Boris Johnson urged country to step up efforts in fight against coronavirus
Matt Hancock announced that millions more will face Level 4 restrictions
In addition, 22 million people in parts of the North East, North West, South West and Midlands have been affected.
This means that a total of 44 million people, or 78% of the English population, are now at level 4.
This means non-essential stores, as well as gyms, cinemas, casinos and hairdressers, have had to close until further notice.
People can also only meet another person from another household in an outdoor public space and cannot leave their level 4 zone except for legally permitted reasons, such as medical appointments.
A number of new areas across England now face level 4 restrictions
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reiterated that the nation must step up efforts in the fight against the coronavirus.
He insisted that “no one regrets these measures more bitterly than me”, but warned that “firm” action was needed to control the pandemic.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced on Wednesday that the reopening of secondary schools in England would be delayed until next month.
In some of the regions of the country hardest hit by the coronavirus, elementary school students will also not be returning to class as planned next week.
Mr Williamson said exam-year students will return to high schools on January 11 – a week later than originally planned – while other high school and college students will return full-time on January 18.
Primary schools in 50 areas of London, Essex, Kent, East Sussex, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire will remain closed for face-to-face teaching to all pupils as planned next week.
Children of key workers and vulnerable young people will, however, be able to continue to attend classes in primary and secondary schools.