The number of hospital coronavirus deaths in the UK has risen by 673 as people are warned to stay home on New Year’s Eve.
In England there were another 529 deaths, Wales recorded a further 65 deaths, Scotland said 68 more people had died and 11 more coronavirus patients lost their lives in Northern Ireland.
Of those deaths in hospitals in England, 106 were in London as a new variant sweeps across the capital and the South East.
There were 98 deaths in the Midlands, 88 in the South West and one patient in England under 40.
Yesterday the coronavirus death toll in hospitals increased by 556.
Last Thursday, December 17, the death toll in hospitals rose by 434.
The previous Thursday, December 10, was 386 and the Thursday before, December 3, 381 Covid deaths were recorded in UK hospitals.
The highest toll on a Thursday was 891 on April 9 when the UK was in the initial peak of the pandemic, while the lowest was five on August 20.
Today’s data comes as Brits have been warned not to have New Year’s Eve parties tonight to avoid fresh outbreaks of coronavirus.
Boris Johnson and medical experts put out the plea last night.
There have been a further 1,831 cases of coronavirus in Wales, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 148,537.
Public Health Wales reported another 65 deaths, taking the total in Wales since the start of the pandemic to 3,494.
Another 11 people have died with Covid-19 in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health said.
Another 1,929 individuals have tested positive.
Hospital bed occupancy is running at 467, with 34 in an intensive care unit and 27 on a ventilator.
Overall bed occupancy, including non-Covid patients, is at 100%, with only six unoccupied.
A total of 107 care home Covid outbreaks are being addressed.
The latest data comes as around a million primary school children won’t return to classrooms as planned next week in a major U-turn by the government.
Primary schools will remain shut to all but vulnerable children and kids of key workers in 50 council areas – covering up to 15% of all pupils in England.
Meanwhile secondary schools nationwide will only fully open from January 18, with Years 11 and 13 in from January 11.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson activated the “contingency framework” in a mark of how badly the new variant of Covid has spread.