Another 101 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant have been reported in the UK on Tuesday.
This brings the total number of UK cases to 437.
Of the 101 new cases announced by the UK Health Security Agency, one was confirmed in Wales while there have been no new cases reported in Northern Ireland.
Scientists believe Omicron may spread more quickly than other variants and that it could evade vaccines to some degree.
But early signs are that the vaccines continue to give good protection against hospitalisation and death from the virus.
The latest figures were announced shortly after Downing Street confirmed that the Omicron variant of coronavirus appears to be “more transmissible” than Delta.
The Prime Minister updated his Cabinet on the latest situation on Tuesday morning, as a scientist warned cases of the Omicron variant in the UK are soon expected to be higher than in some African countries placed on the travel red list.
Professor Tim Spector said early data suggested cases of the coronavirus mutation are doubling every two days, putting it on course to overtake some of the 11 countries from where travellers to the UK are now required to quarantine to try to stymie community transmission.
New rules came into force in the early hours of Tuesday, requiring all travellers to take a pre-departure test before heading to England. They will not be able to travel if they test positive.
Some of the highest infection levels were in outer boroughs, many of them with a large proportion of families such as Richmond, Bromley, Kingston, Croydon and Barnet, and fewer young adults compared with some more central districts.
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