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Covid: More than 25,000 new cases confirmed in UK as death toll rises by 612

More than 25,000 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK and a further 612 deaths recorded, a significant jump from recent days.

The number of new deaths is more than 100 higher than those recorded on Tuesday and more than twice as high as Mondays.

The 25,161 new cases is more than 6,000 higher than Tuesday and the highest since November 14.

The prime minister warned today at a Downing Street press conference cases were rising steadily across the country, two weeks after England left lockdown.

There was some confusion over whether the rules for Christmas had changed after leaders from the four nations discussed the current situation.

The rules in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have remained the same with three households allowed to mix over Christmas for five days, but Wales’s two-household limit for mixing during Christmas will be made into law.

However all nations have tightened their advice and asked people to think hard about what is necessary over the festive period.

England

There were 23,432 new cases of coronavirus in England on Wednesday.

Some 537 more deaths from coronavirus were also confirmed.

Wales

A further 29 people have died from coronavirus in Wales and another 530 cases were confirmed.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced today the country would be going into another lockdown on Christmas Day.

Scotland

There were another 689 cases of coronavirus in Scotland on Wednesday and a further 38 deaths.

Northern Ireland

There was a further eight deaths from coronavirus confirmed in Northern Ireland on Wednesday and another 510 cases.