The British government on Friday reported 93,045 new coronavirus cases, a third record in a row daily as the Omicron variant burns a increase in infections across the country.
The latest data brings the total number of infections during the pandemic to more than 11.1 million, while the UK also recorded a further 111 deaths from the virus, bringing the death toll to more than 147,000.
Scotland’s Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Omicron is now the country’s dominant coronavirus strain and added that “the tsunami I warned about a week ago is now starting to hit us”.
And Welsh leader Mark Drakeford asked citizens to prepare for the “storm of Omicron”, after announcing that the country’s nightclubs will close after December 26, and social distancing reintroduced in shops and workplaces.
The UK is currently in the process of rolling out a mass reinforcement drive to vaccinate as many people as possible before the end of the year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the aim was to “try to ensure that we not only have the fastest vaccine rollout in Europe”, but also “to avert some of the more damaging consequences of Omicron”.
Johnson is under pressure to announce further restrictions, but Secretary of State Oliver Dowden said the government has “the right balance”.
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