Omicron: UK records highest daily total of Covid cases as variant spreads

The UK has recorded the highest daily total of lab-confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, as the Omicron variant spreads.

Official figures showed there had been 78,610 new cases recorded as of 9am on Wednesday.

It is the highest figure announced since mass testing began in summer last year and surpasses the previous record of January 8 when 68,053 new cases were reported.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was set to hold a press conference from Downing Street later on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Scotland is first UK nation to give booster vaccine dose to half of all adults

Earlier in the day, the mandatory use of coronavirus health certificates to demonstrate vaccination or a negative test for entry into large venues in England was introduced.

Compulsory mask-wearing has also been extended and work-from-home guidance was reintroduced under the Government’s Plan B to tackle the pandemic this winter.

But Mr Johnson suffered a major blow to his authority that raised questions over his ability to bring in further measures after 100 Tories rebelled to oppose the measures in a Commons vote.

READ MORE: Swinney warns of more restrictions before Christmas

Analysis suggested Omicron is now the dominant strain in London.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said a further 4,671 cases of Omicron were recorded, bringing the total of confirmed cases in the UK to 10,017.

But the agency earlier this week estimated that the true number of daily infections from the strain first detected in South Africa is around 200,000.

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