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CORONAVIRUS cases in the UK today rose by 18,447 as 144 more people lost their lives to the disease.
The jump in cases means a total of 1,849,403 people have now tested positive.
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The latest figures released by the Department of Health puts the total number of people who have died from Covid at 64,170.
Today' rise is lower than yesterday's daily death toll when 584 died in the highest rise on a Saturday for seven weeks.
It comes as:
- Boris Johnson warned Brits not to have a "big blowout" when the relaxed rules over Christmas come in
- Piers Morgan admitted he was a "Covidiot" after failing to wear a face mask in a cab
- London could be split into different tiers to keep the capital booming
- Germany has been plunged into a new national lockdown until January
- Drinkers hit the town for a boozy night as Tier 3 looms for millions
Last Sunday, cases rose by 17,272 and deaths jumped by 231.
In England today, a further 159 people who tested positive for coronavirus died in hospital – bringing the total to 44,285.
The latest victims were aged between 47 and 97 and all but five had underlying health conditions.
In Scotland, two new deaths were reported – bringing the total to 4,111.
Northern Ireland suffered four new deaths – with their total now at 1,124.
Wales are not releasing any figures today due to planned maintenance.
It comes as London Essex, Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, Gloucestershire plus Wiltshire and Swindon teeter on the edge of Tier 3.
The areas have seen a surge in Covid cases with any changes due to be announced on Wednesday.
Under the toughest Tier 3 restrictions, pubs and hospitality venues would be forced to close and people would no longer be allowed to meet friends in gardens.
The rules on gathering with people from other households would then be relaxed from December 23 for five days to allow families to get together over Christmas, but other restrictions would remain in place.
Scientists today urged people to celebrate Christmas in summer instead to swerve a third wave.
Their comments were echoed by NHS bosses, who have warned Boris Johnson easing restrictions threatens to spark more infections.
But he today told The Sun on Sunday: "I really urge people to think hard about how you choose to enjoy that relaxation.
"I really would urge people to urge on the side of caution rather than, I’m afraid, have a big blowout with multiple households.
“I know the rules say three households, but there is ample scope alas for further increases in this disease during the tough winter months."
Dominic Raab today insisted the rules will not be tightened despite all the warnings.
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