Covid: UK records highest number of daily reported cases since July

The UK has reported 53,945 new confirmed Covid cases, the highest number since mid-July when the country saw a spike following the Euro 2020 football tournament.

Thursday's figure was the highest since July 17 when 54,674 new cases were confirmed.

The latest data comes amid the cancellation of some events in the run up to Christmas due to concern over the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

PM insists 'don't cancel Christmas parties': Here's the government Covid advice

Despite some businesses and schools having already called off plans to mark the festive season, the government has repeatedly stressed people do not need to cancel their Christmas party plans.

Boris Johnson on Thursday said "people should follow the guidance that we've set out and people shouldn't be cancelling things, and there's no need for that at all, that's not what we're saying".

The UK has reported at least 42 cases of the new variant - 29 in England and 13 in Scotland.