A further 18 deaths due to COVID-19 and 129,471 new coronavirus infections in 24 hours – highest ever daily infections (Incomplete data due to the holidays and data lags). Meanwhile, 2,132,338 reported infections in 28 days is yet another dreadful milestone, with further potential implications, in terms of NHS pressures, and Long Covid.

First published: 28 December 2021 | Updated: 29 December 2021.

📆 #TodayInCOVID
Summary 28-Dec-2021

POSITIVE CASES – England & Wales only
▪ 24h: 129,471Highest ever
▪ 7 days: 802,137Highest ever
▪ 28 days: 2,132,338Highest ever
▪ Average: 114,591 cases/dayHighest ever

🚨 Estimated cases (King’s College/Zoe): 188,516 cases in 24h
🚨 Estimated infection (King’s College/Zoe): 1,991,941 people currently infected

🚨 6,955,300 infections since 19 July (“Freedom Day”)

▪ 24h: 1,374Highest since 17 February
▪ 7 days: 8,442Highest since 23 February
▪ 28 days: 26,341Highest since 19 November
▪ 24h: 9,546Highest since 2 November
▪ 7 days: 55,442Highest since 25 November
▪ 28 days: 212,949Highest since 14 December
▪ 24h: 758
▪ 7 days: 5,368
▪ 28 days: 23,942

DEATHS – England & Wales
▪ 24h: 18
▪ 7 days: 588
▪ 28 days: 3,054
▪ Average: 84 deaths / day

🚨 19,173 deaths since 19 July (“Freedom Day”)

▪ New Sequenced Cases: 17,269
▪ Total Sequenced Cases: 177,201
▪ Total Patients: 668 (+261)
▪ Total Deaths: 49 (+10)

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

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  • 28 December 2021 — incomplete data due to the holiday.
  • 129,471 new UK coronavirus infections in 24 hours – the thirteenth day in a row that over 80,000 infections have been reported (highest daily number recorded, and the actual number is likely to be significantly higher).
  • The total number of coronavirus infections reported in the last 7 days was 802,137 [highest 7-day number ever recorded] while in the last 28 days 2,132,338 infections have been reported [highest 28-day number ever recorded].
  • 588 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 84 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 30,660 deaths.
  • Meanwhile, 3,054 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 and incomplete data/data lag).
  • 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.


  • 698 days since the first infection due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus was reported in Britain (31 January 2020).
  • 662 days since the first reported death (7 March 2020). Coronavirus has now been responsible for infecting over 12.3 million people in the UK (according to the official reported positive cases data).
  • In this time, the virus has been responsible for at least 148,021 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 days 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 4 am.

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 4 am.

  • 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 4 am.

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 4 am.

  • 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)

WHO warns Omicron could overwhelm health systems as cases rise to record highs in Europe
Restrictions return in China, South Africa and Germany as countries around the world struggle to contain new variant
More than 500 children admitted to hospital with Covid in week up to Boxing Day
A record number of new Covid infections were reported today with the easily transmissible Omicron strain being named as the driving force for the surge - now the variant is having an unprecedented impact on Britain’s younger population
Thousands of Scots prepare to cross border on New Year’s Eve to escape Nicola Sturgeon’s Covid clampdown
PUB landlords in England are gearing up for an invasion of Scottish and Welsh drinkers on New Year’s Eve as anger grows at the nations’ different
Rapid Covid tests not as accurate with Omicron: US regulator
Rapid Covid home tests are more likely to give a false negative with the heavily-mutated Omicron variant compared to earlier strains, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Tuesday.
Why you CAN’T refuse to go to work if you are afraid of catching Covid
Staff can’t use a fear of catching Covid as a reason not to return to the office, an employment tribunal has ruled, as worries of infection and spread aren’t legally protected beliefs.
Far too early to say we don’t need to worry about omicron and hospitalisations.
According to Chris Hopson, CEO of NHS Providers, if the current trajectory in COVID staff absences is maintained, pressure will grow significantly and even relatively small numbers of extra COVID cases will bring big difficulties to the NHS.
Omicron is likely to hit deprived areas the hardest.
The fact omicron can overcome the wall of protection built up in deprived areas through high levels of prior infection means there is a risk inequalities are going to be repeated in the coming weeks and months.
Omicron. The worst part of the pandemic before it ends in 2022. – Bill Gates.
According to American super billionaire Bill Gates, the Omicron variant may mean the worst part of the pandemic, but he thinks that by taking the right steps – vaccination, mask-wearing, social distancing, the pandemic could be over in 2022.
Omicron: What the next few weeks will look like.
New omicron cases are doubling approximately every two days in some parts of the UK, including London.

■ 🧬 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 28 December 2021.

(Source: UK Health Security Agency)

■ 🧮 Case & Death Totals
🦠 12,338,676 positive cases so far to date (recorded) – Since the first case was reported at the end of January 2020
🕯️ 148,021 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

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.
(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 28 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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