Steve Allen 4am - 7am
UK records highest ever daily total of coronavirus cases
31 December 2020, 16:39 | Updated: 31 December 2020, 16:52
A further 55,892 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK, the highest ever daily total.
It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 2,488,780.
The Government said a further 964 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Thursday, bringing the UK total to 73,512.
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 89,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.
It comes amid the news that Covid-19 case rates are continuing to rise in all regions of England, according to the latest weekly surveillance report from Public Health England.
London's rate of new cases stood at 735.5 per 100,000 people in the seven days to December 27, up from 711.9 in the previous week.
Eastern England saw the second highest rate (551.3, up from 510.8) followed by south-east England (450.6, up from 427.4).
Yorkshire & the Humber had the lowest rate: 188.3, up from 172.4.
Case rates in England remain highest among 30 to 39-year-olds, Public Health England said.
The rate in this age group stood at 557.5 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to December 27, up week-on-week from 495.4.
Among 20 to 29-year-olds, the rate rose from 498.6 to 539.5, and for 40 to 49-year-olds it rose from 465.9 to 527.3.
Rates fell slightly among five to nine-year-olds, 10 to 19-year-olds and people aged 80 and over.
The lowest rates were recorded among those aged four and under (150.6) and five to nine (167.2).
It comes as people are being urged to stay at home to celebrate New Year's Eve on Thursday after coronavirus cases across the UK reached an all-time high.
Everyone in England is being be encouraged to welcome the New Year at home as part of a public information advertising campaign, 'See in the New Year safely at home.'
The advertising reiterates people should not meet up with friends or family indoors, unless they are in the same household or support bubble, and they should avoid large gatherings of any kind.
Millions more Brits woke up to tighter Covid restrictions on Thursday, with an additional 20 million people in almost total lockdown from one minute past midnight, taking the total number to 44 million - 78% of England's population.