The UK has recorded its highest number of daily Covid-19 cases in nearly a month - 46,807.
It’s the worst one-day figure for new infections since 22 October.
In the past week, a total of 277,261 new cases have been diagnosed - a rise of 14.5 per cent on the previous week, government figures show.
And another 199 deaths were reported in 24 hours, the data shows, bringing the UK total to 143,559.
But separate figures from the Office for National Statistics show there have been 168,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
The UK Health Security Agency said case rates were highest in children aged five to nine and lowest in the over-80s.
About 88 per cent of the UK population has now had a first coronavirus jab, and nearly one in four has had a booster, according to official data.
A total of 50,679,073 first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had been delivered in the UK by Wednesday - a rise of 33,092 on Tuesday.
Some 46,087,958 second doses have been delivered, an increase of 22,120. A combined total of 13,879,311 booster and third doses have also been given, a day-on-day rise of 384,421.
In Europe, countries including Ireland and Austria have started reimposing or are considering reimposing restrictions amid rising infections and deaths.
Germany will limit large parts of public life in areas where hospitals are becoming dangerously full of Covid patients to those who have either been vaccinated or have recovered from the illness, a document showed.
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