Daily Covid-19 cases have hit their highest since the pandemic began in the UK around March last year.
The UK recorded around 78,610 cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, with 4,237 being cases of the new Omicron variant.
The latest figures take the total confirmed cases of the Omicron variant to 9,243.
Another 68,868 people have tested positive for the virus in the past 24 hours, which puts the country in the same position it was in on January 8, when it recorded 68,035 cases.
It follows transport secretary Grant Shapps urging the public to “be sensible but enjoy their Christmas”, adding that he believes “with some confidence” that there will be no further restrictions over the festive period.
Health secretary Sajid Javid said that he was “pleased” to see people taking the booster jabs, after the government opened up the third jab to all adults.
“We need to get as many boosters as we can get done over the next few weeks.”
He added that the Omicron strain now accounts for more than 60 per cent of cases in London.