Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
UK records a further 612 coronavirus deaths and 25,161 new cases
16 December 2020, 18:39 | Updated: 16 December 2020, 18:48
The UK has recorded a further 612 Covid-19 deaths and 25,161 newly confirmed cases.
The Government said a further 612 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday, bringing the UK total to 65,520.
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 81,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.
The Government said that, as of 9am on Wednesday, there had been a further 25,161 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.
It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 1,913,277.
In England there were 23,432 cases and 537 deaths and in Scotland, there were 689 cases, 38 deaths.
In Northern Ireland 510 cases have been recorded, along with eight deaths, with 530 cases and 29 deaths in Wales.
It comes after a day of mixed-messaging and confusion over Covid Christmas rules in the four nations of the UK.
Boris Johnson told England that Christmas Covid laws will not change and has instead urged people to keep any celebrations "small and local".
Whereas in Wales, First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed a limit of two households bubbling up at Christmas would come into force, as well as a lockdown post-Christmas.
And In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her "strong recommendation" was that people should spend Christmas "in your own home with your own household", and if they did mix with others they should not do so for the entire five-day period.
Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster also said people needed to take “all and every precaution” when they come together at Christmas.
Mrs Foster also said she could not rule out further restrictions after the Christmas relaxations end on December 28.