The number of new Covid infections has risen by the highest amount since the crisis began.
New daily data from public health officials shows that 35,853 new cases have been reported today.
However, the Government says that 11,000 of these are previously unreported cases in Wales.
Yet even without those 11,000 infections, the rise of 24,853 is still 3,000 higher than last Thursday, the Mirror Online reports.
Public Health England said the latest infection figure included 11,000 cases in Wales which were previously unreported ‘as a result of system maintenance in the NHS Wales Laboratory Information Management System’.
The news comes as it emerged that UK Covid-19 deaths have risen by 532 in the last 24 hours.
That is similar to the total last Thursday of 516.
Infections are rising across the UK amid increasing fears of a third English lockdown after Christmas.
Many experts are warning the decision to relax laws over the festive period will lead to hospitals being overwhelmed.
The UK seven-day average of new infections is now 21,479 and it is rising for the third time this year after spikes in spring and the early autumn.
On a key day for the UK in the battle against the virus, more than five million people in England were told they would be put into a Tier 3 lockdown from this Saturday.
That will bring around 38.8million people or 68 per cent of England into the tier with the harshest rules.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the toughest restrictions would be extended to Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, the whole of Hertfordshire, Surrey – with the exception of Waverley – and the south coast boroughs of Hastings, Rother, Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant.
Meanwhile, Bristol and North Somerset, will be moved from Tier 3 to Tier 2, and Herefordshire will move from Tier 2 to Tier 1.
Coronavirus case rates are rising in all but one region of England, according to the latest weekly report from Public Health England.
The highest rate is in the capital.
The figures there reached 319.3 cases per 100,000 people in the week to December 13, up from 199.9 in the previous week.
In eastern England, the rate has risen from 152.9 to 249.1, while in south-east England the rate has increased from 167.6 to 238.7.
The only region that has recorded a week-on-week fall is Yorkshire and the Humber.
The rate there dropped slightly from 153.6 to 148.5.
Wales will also be going into its third national lockdown after Christmas, with non-essential shops shutting nationwide.
But England may not escape that fate, as the Prime Minister has refused to rule out a third national lockdown.
A No10 spokesman said: “We will obviously keep the latest data and latest trends under review.
“That has been the case throughout.”