28 Dec 2021

Celebrate New Year with caution, ministers say

Enjoy the New Year, but perhaps take the party outside.

That’s the message to people hoping to celebrate the end of 2021 in England.

Ministers have said there were grounds for cautious optimism in the latest Covid data, and no need yet to limit socialising. One leading scientist said Omicron was “not the same disease we were seeing a year ago” – with hospital cases rising but well below the January peak.

In the last 24 hours almost 129,500 new cases have been reported, the highest daily figure so far.