Earlier today, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said England was not close to moving to the government's Plan B of restrictions, while countries in Europe face a spike involving lockdowns and vaccine mandates.


UK passes 15 million booster jabs as 40,004 coronavirus cases recorded in latest 24-hour period


UK passes 15 million booster jabs as 40,004 coronavirus cases recorded in latest 24-hour period

The UK has now rolled out more than 15 million booster jabs or third doses of COVID vaccines, according to latest figures.

It comes as Sunday’s daily COVID figures show that another 40,004 new COVID cases and a further 61 deaths were recorded in the latest 24-hour period.

This compares to the 40,941 cases recorded on Saturday, and 150 deaths. On Sunday last week, 36,517 cases and 63 deaths were reported.

Meanwhile, 450,080 booster or third vaccine doses were administered on Saturday – meaning 15,064,693 people have now had an additional course of the inoculation.

Earlier on Sunday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid told Sky News that England was “on the right path”, and the government was not planning to move to its Plan B of COVID restrictions.

Plan B involves advice to work at home requirements to wear masks in certain scenarios – measures already in place in Wales.

It comes as many countries in Europe are starting to introduce new lockdowns as cases surge on the continent.

Austria and the Netherlands are among those putting restrictions on daily life, sparking riots over the past few days.

Vaccines will become required in Austria from the start of February, and a German politician has suggested similar measures could be introduced in his country in order to get through the pandemic.

However, the chief executive of NHS Providers has said the service is under an “unprecedented degree of pressure” for this time of year.

Chris Hopson said the health service is experiencing “very, very high levels of people coming into accident and emergency departments” with “the ambulance services under real pressure”.

He told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips: “Wherever you look, Trevor, right the way across the NHS – be it in mental health services, be it in hospitals – the NHS is under an unprecedented degree of pressure for this time of year and that is before the traditional winter peak.

“We know that the NHS tends to feel the most pressure in early to mid-January so there is a high degree of concern.”

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