A further 612 people have died after testing positive for Covid-19 in the UK, bringing country’s death toll to 65,520.
According to government figures, a further 25,161 have also tested positive for coronavirus as of 9am on Wednesday.
It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 1,913,277.
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 81,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.
Boris Johnson has said urged people to have a “smaller, safer Christmas” amid fears over rising coronavirus cases.
The original UK-wide plans would have seen three households allowed to form a festive bubble between 23 and 27 December.
However the prime minister admitted the coronavirus situation had deteriorated since the festive bubble rules were set by the four nations of the UK.
He stressed the three households, five days provisions were "maximums, not a target to aim for".
The government has been under intense pressure to scale down Christmas plans because of fears about a surge in cases, particularly given the experience in the US since Thanksgiving in November.
The focus on Christmas arrangements came as around 10.8 million more people began living under England's toughest restrictions as London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire moved into tier 3.
With 61 per cent of England's population now living under the strictest measures, ministers are due to formally review which tiers are appropriate for each area.
Health secretary Matt Hancock will set out the new allocations on Thursday.
Ministers hope the rollout of a vaccine and improved testing availability will help life return to something closer to normal in the spring.
The first vaccination figures showed almost 138,000 people in the UK have received the jab so far.
Additional reporting by PA
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