A further 137 deaths due to COVID-19 and another record broken with 122,186 new coronavirus infections in 24 hours. While the UK Health Security Agency confirmed 23,719 additional cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been reported across the UK, with 114,625 confirmed UK Omicron cases now in total.

First published in December 2021.

📆 #TodayInCOVID
Summary 24-Dec-2021

▪ 24h: 122,186Highest ever
▪ 7 days: 707,306Highest ever
▪ 28 days: 1,841,378Highest ever
▪ Average: 101,044 cases/dayHighest ever

🚨 Estimated cases (King’s College/Zoe): 161,125 cases
🚨 6,504,793 infections since 19 July (“Freedom Day”)

▪ 24h: 1,171Highest since 19 February
▪ 7 days: 6,581Highest since 7 November
▪ 28 days: 23,658Highest since 29 November
▪ 24h: 8,240Highest since 16 November
▪ 7 days: 54,259Highest since 27 November
▪ 28 days: 211,189
▪ 24h: 842
▪ 7 days: 6,017
▪ 28 days: 24,943

▪ 24h: 137
▪ 7 days: 810
▪ 28 days: 3,266
▪ Average: 116 deaths / day

🚨 19,009 deaths since 19 July (“Freedom Day”)

▪ New Cases: 16,817
▪ Total Cases: 90,906
▪ Total Patients: 366 (+66)
▪ Total Deaths: 29 (+5)

🚨 1,200,000 cases
🚨 1 in 50 people live with long COVID

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  • 122,186 new UK coronavirus infections in 24 hours – the highest ever daily numbers reported, and the ninth day in a row that over 80,000 infections have been reported (the actual number is likely to be significantly higher).
  • The total number of coronavirus infections reported in the last 7 days was 707,306 [highest 7-day number ever recorded] while in the last 28 days 1,841,378 infections have been reported [highest 28-day number ever recorded].
  • 810 deaths due to coronavirus have been reported in the last 7 days.
  • The number of deaths in the past week equates on average to around 116 deaths each of the past 7 days. If this was to be the “new normal” for daily deaths caused by Covid-19, then annually this would equate to around 42,236 deaths.
  • Meanwhile, 3,266 deaths due to Covid-19 have been reported in the UK in the last 28 days.
  • 1,171 Covid-19 hospital admissions occurred on 20 December 2021 – according to the latest health care data for the UK as a whole – the highest daily increase since 19 February 2021 (subject to confirmation).
  • 8,240 patients suffering from Covid-19 are currently occupying hospital beds as of 22 December 2021 – the highest number since 16 November 2021 (subject to confirmation).
  • 842 Covid-19 patients are occupying mechanical ventilation beds – according to the data reported on 22 December 2021.
  • All three of these healthcare measures remain a continuing concern for our now seriously under-pressure NHS.


  • 694 days since the first infection due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus was reported in Britain (31 January 2020).
  • 658 days since the first reported death (7 March 2020). Coronavirus has now been responsible for infecting over 11.8 million people in the UK (according to the official reported positive cases data).
  • In this time, the virus has been responsible for at least 147,857 deaths (within 28 days of a first positive test result). Official data also currently indicate there have been 171,801 deaths in total, where the deceased person’s death certificate mentioned COVID-19 as one of the causes, registered up to Friday 10 December 2021, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Note: The data for deaths attributed to COVID-19 – each following a reported positive test result for COVID-19 within 28 days of their death.

(Source: UK Health Security Agency)


  • 22 December

If you’ve tested positive or have symptoms, you can stop self-isolating after 7 days instead of 10 days if you get 2 negative lateral flow test results on day 6 and 7.

  • 20 December

Children aged 12 to 15 can now get their second vaccine dose if it’s been more than 12 weeks since their first vaccine dose. Book a vaccination appointment or find a walk-in vaccination site.

  • 15 December

People aged 18 or over can pre-book a booster dose appointment 2 months after their second vaccine dose. You can get your booster dose 3 months after your second vaccine dose. Book a booster vaccination appointment or find a walk-in vaccination site.

All 11 countries were removed from the travel red list at 4am.

You need to show your NHS COVID Pass at nightclubs, some venues and large events to show you’re fully vaccinated, have had a negative test result in the last 48 hours, or you have an exemption.

  • 14 December

Fully vaccinated contacts of someone with COVID-19 should take rapid lateral flow tests every day for 7 days. Find out when to self-isolate and what to do on the NHS website.


  • 26 December

Wales moves to alert level 2. A maximum of 6 people can meet in venues such as pubs, restaurants, cinemas and theatres (‘rule of 6’), 30 people at indoor events and 50 people at outdoor events. 2 metre social distancing will be required in public premises and offices. Nightclubs will close. Find out more on GOV.WALES.

  • 15 December

All 11 countries were removed from the travel red list at 4am.

  • 29 November

People aged 18 and over will be invited to have their booster dose a minimum of 3 months after their second vaccine dose. Your health board will contact you when it’s your turn.


  • 27 December

Up to 3 households can meet with 1 metre physical distancing between groups at indoor and outdoor venues like bars, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and gyms. Table service will be needed if alcohol is being served.

  • 26 December

Large events will have 1 metre physical distancing and will be limited to 100 people standing indoors, 200 people sitting indoors and 500 people outdoors.

  • 15 December

All 11 countries were removed from the travel red list at 4am.

People aged 18 and over can now book a booster dose 3 months after their second vaccine dose. Book your booster vaccination appointment on NHS Inform.

  • 14 December

You should reduce social contact as much as possible by meeting in groups of no more than 3 households.


  • 27 December

You should reduce social contact as much as possible by meeting in groups of no more than 3 households.

Up to 6 people can meet in pubs, bars and restaurants, or up to 10 people if they’re all from the same household. Only table service will be available.

2 metre social distancing will be required in public premises and offices. Find out more about changes in Northern Ireland.

  • 26 December

Indoor standing events will not be permitted. Nightclubs will close.

  • 15 December

All 11 countries were removed from the travel red list at 4am.

  • 13 December

People aged 30 and over can get their booster dose 3 months after their second vaccine dose at an HSC walk-in vaccination hub.

(Source: Gov.uk)

  • Third-dose and booster vaccinations lowest among ethnic minorities

According to the ONS, as of 12 December 2021, three-quarters of adults aged 50 years and over in England had received three vaccinations (74.7%).

The lowest third-dose and booster vaccination coverage was among Pakistani (42.2%), Black Caribbean (44.4%) and Black African (45.4%) ethnic groups.

Third-dose and booster vaccination rates were higher among non-disabled (76.0%) people than those who are “limited a little” (72.0%) and “limited a lot” (66.2%) in their day-to-day activities.

Among adults aged 40 to 64 years in England, the occupations that had the highest coverage for third-dose and booster vaccinations were related to healthcare and services.

The occupations with the lowest coverage were elementary trades and related occupations (37.0%) and skilled construction and building trades (39.8%). These occupations also had the highest proportion of people that had not received a vaccination, at 14.5% and 12.0% respectively.

Going further...

(Source: Office for National Statistics)

Decision on stricter Covid rules for England may come on Monday
Ministers expected to assess latest data given to Sage and decide on possible return to step 2 restrictions
‘Don’t forget us’: Covid shielders speak out over lack of government support
As Omicron spreads, many clinically extremely vulnerable people in England are being forced to isolate in fear of their lives
On the Imperial College study on Omicron severity.
All suggest that the observed reduction in severity is very likely due to the fact that a much larger proportion of omicron cases are people with prior infection.
Omicron’s cold-like symptoms mean UK guidance ‘needs urgent update’
Lead scientist on Zoe Covid study calls official advice ‘misinformation’ in light of data about new variant
Vallance hits back at Tory accusations of Omicron fear-mongering
Chief scientific adviser responds to criticism that Sage modelling has ‘spread gloom’ about Omicron variant
COVID: How the disease moves through the air.
Masks definitely catch some of the virus-laden aerosols and droplets – and that will reduce transmission between people and the number of cases of COVID-19.
We have learned from our mistakes... in order to repeat them.
The views of experts and health professionals on the current UK situation with the Omicron variant.

■ 🧬 Omicron variant detection

■ 🧬 COG-UK sequencing

(Source: COG-UK)

■ 🧬 UKHSA genomically confirmed case numbers

(Source: UK Health Security Agency)

📈 UK COVID-19 data

Covid-19 UK Data: First UK Lockdown to 24 December 2021.

(Source: UK Health Security Agency)

■ 🧮 Case & Death Totals
🦠 11,891,292 positive cases so far to date (recorded) – Since the first case was reported at the end of January 2020
🕯️ 147,857 deaths so far – Number recorded within 28 days of first positive test result
🕯️ 171,801 total deaths – Total number of people whose death certificate mentioned Covid-19 as one of the causes– Registered up to Friday 10 December 2021

Special announcement

No additional tables and data today and for the next fortnight as we run our reduced end of year service. We will still update the daily chart and Omicron table every day though.

Normal service of PMP will resume on 3 January 2022.

Estimated ®️ Number

(Sources: UK Health Security Agency + Welsh Government
+ Scottish Government + N-I Ministry of Health)

Population Testing Positive for COVID-19

(Source: ONS)

Number of contact tracing alerts sent (England & Wales)

(Source: NHS)

Stringency Index

(Source: University of Oxford)

PMP Magazine

📚 Data Sources:

PMP Xtra

Total UK population: 67,081,234 (last year: 66,796,800), via ONS (subject to changes in population over the year). These figures were updated on 25 June 2021.

● Adult population (aged 18 and above) = 52,890,044 (last year: 52,673,433)
● Population aged 16 and above = 54,353,665 (last year: 54,098,971)
● Population aged 11 and above = 58,325,411 (last year: 57,975,918)
● Population aged 5 and above = 63,298,904 (last year: 62,939,544)

(Source ▪ ONS)

📈 Full Daily UK #COVID19 Charts & Comments via #TodayInCovid: www.pmp-magazine.com/tag/today-in-covid/

🦠 Everything #COVID19: www.pmp-magazine.com/covid19/

🗃️ Sources: @CovidGenomicsUK | @UKHSA | @ONS

🧮 Special thanks: @JoePajak & #NHS


Dr Joe Pajak, PhD in physical chemistry: exploring the data, governor of an NHS FT hospital.
J.N. PAQUET, Author & Journalist, Editor of PMP Magazine.


  • Text: This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 24 December 2021. | The authors write in a personal capacity.
  • Data cross-referenced with the latest official data from the UK dashboard.
  • Cover: Adobe Stock/SergeyBitos.
  • Icons from www.flaticon.com

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