CORONAVIRUS cases are up by almost a fifth in a week as 36,517 positive infections were recorded in the last 24 hours.
The death rate has dropped in the last day, from 157 to 63 fatalities being reported.
Despite 80 per cent of Brits now being double vaxxed, it seems case numbers are worryingly on the rise ahead of the busy Christmas period.
This time last week, there were 30,305 cases reported in the UK – marking a 20.5 per cent increase in today's numbers.
However the number of fatalities has only increased slightly from last Sunday, from 62 to 63 fatalities – bringing the grim total to 142,898.
It brings a blunt end to the falling figures earlier reported, however, the crucial R rate did drop this week.
It fell from 0.9 – 1.1 to 0.8 to 1, while hospital admissions also decreased in all age groups.
It comes as boffins claimed Brits would be able to celebrate the festive period without fear of another UK lockdown.
Experts are now claiming that the UK will be able to “avoid” social distancing restriction this winter because enough people have already had the killer virus.
Professor Neil Ferguson believes that it will be “unlikely” that the UK will be forced into a lockdown like last year in the festive period.
The epidemiologist, whose modelling helped to instigate the first lockdown last year, also thinks the booster jabs will help the cause.
The Sun's Give Britain A Booster campaign is also urging people to get a third jab.
But his comments come after the Prime Minister warned that Covid “storm clouds are gathering” after concerning infection rates in Europe.
Some European countries, including the Netherlands, have already imposed a lockdown due to rising case numbers.
Currently 10 EU countries including Poland, Greece and the Netherlands are deemed of "very high concern".
Today Austria announced that they were putting millions of people into lockdown from tomorrow who have not been fully vaccinated in an attempt to battle a surge in infections.
Millions of Brits have also been targeted by Covid Pass scams conning them out of money and sensitive data.
Criminals are cashing in on confusion around how the genuine NHS document works.
An NHS Covid Pass shows your coronavirus vaccination details or test results.
It can be obtained in paper or digital form, right, via the NHS app or website, or by calling 119, and is needed for foreign travel and events such as gigs and sports matches.
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