The UK has recorded more than 90,000 Covid-19 cases for the second day in a row.
Government data reveals there were 90,418 new infections in the last 24 hours.
The figure is slightly down from the record-breaking 93,045 yesterday, but there is always a drop over the weekend for administrative reasons.
Officials said a further 125 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19.
But there was better news on the booster dose campaign, with 817,625 jabs delivered in the last 24 hours.
That’s the second highest number given in a day after a record-breaking effort yesterday.
Cases are rising across the country but London has become the epicentre of the new wave.
Sadiq Khan declared a ‘major incident’ across the capital this afternoon, bringing emergency services under centralised command to deal with the huge strain they are under.
Hospitals are operating at full capacity and other key services are struggling with staff absences.
It’s the first time London has faced this situation since the last winter coronavirus wave.
The government is reportedly considering plans for a two-week circuit breaker lockdown after Christmas to try and drive down cases.
Allies of the prime minister quoted in The Times said Mr Johnson still wanted to go down the guidance route, but that he also had to be realistic about the threat of Omicron.
Leaked minutes from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said scientists had told ministers that tougher measures need to be brought in ‘very soon’.
Indoor mixing is the ‘biggest risk factor’ for the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, experts have warned, as documents revealed advisers cautioned that large gatherings risked creating ‘multiple spreading events’.
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Documents released by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) on Saturday revealed the advice which had been given to ministers by the body.
And at a meeting Thursday, the experts said that stricter measures may be needed for Omicron, because of its transmissibility.
Minutes from the meeting said that this could include ‘educing group sizes, increasing physical distancing, reducing duration of contacts and closing high-risk premises’.
The World Health Organisation said the Omicron variant had been identified in 89 countries as of Thursday and had a doubling time of between 1.5 and three days.
Read Also: UK Breaks Daily Covid Cases Record For Third Consecutive Day With 93,045 New Infections
It said data is still limited on the severity of the strain, but added: ‘Given rapidly increasing case counts, it is possible that many healthcare systems may become quickly overwhelmed.’
A government spokesperson said: ‘The government will continue to look closely at all the emerging data and we’ll keep our measures under review as we learn more about this variant.’
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