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UK's daily COVID infections pass 100,000 for the first time amid Omicron spread

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By Euronews
Shoppers do their last Christmas shopping in Covent Garden in London, Wednesday, 22 December 2021.
Shoppers do their last Christmas shopping in Covent Garden in London, Wednesday, 22 December 2021.   -   Copyright  Frank Augstein/AP Photo

The UK registered a record-breaking 106,122 new COVID-19 infections in 24 hours ahead of the holidays.

It was the first time the country reported more than 100,000 daily infections.

Infections have risen nearly 60% in the past week compared to week before, UK authorities said.

England's chief medical officer Dr Chris Whitty had warned that the highly transmissible Omicron variant was likely to bring record-breaking infection numbers.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has so far refused to impose new curbs aimed at reducing transmission, but said the situation was being followed "hour by hour".

The Welsh government, meanwhile, said that from December 26 nightclubs will have to close and that groups would need to be limited to six people on public premises. Two-metre social distancing will be required in offices and all public premises.

A maximum of 30 people can attend indoor events and a maximum of 50 people at outdoor events.

The UK has pushed ahead with its booster campaign, with 53% of the population aged twelve and older already receiving one.

Some are concerned about absences due to COVID-19. A recent Royal College of Physicians survey found that one in 24 doctors were off work in the UK due to COVID, with that number rising to one in 13 in London.