British Health Secretary Sajid Javid said Monday no further coronavirus restrictions will be introduced in England before the new year, but urged people to stay cautious and celebrate outside if possible.
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COVID-19 data has been patchy over the Christmas holiday, but the latest official figures showed 98,515 new infections were recorded in England on Monday and 143 people died with the virus. The National Health Service in England reported that there were 1,281 coronavirus hospital admissions on Christmas Day, up more than 70% compared to the previous week.
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The four parts of the U.K. have taken different approaches to coronavirus restrictions as the omicron variant spread rapidly in the country. While nightclubs were ordered closed and limits on gatherings were imposed in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, officials have resisted tightening restrictions in England.
Javid said about 90% of cases across England were the omicron variant.