A further 232 people have died with coronavirus in the UK, government figures show.
Another 20,263 confirmed cases have also been reported in the past 24 hours.
This is up on last Monday’s figures, when 14,718 new cases and 189 deaths were recorded.
Earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed a new coronavirus variant could be behind a rapid increase in cases in London and the South East.
He told MPs that “initial analysis suggests this variant is growing faster than the existing variant”, adding: “We have currently identified over a thousand cases of this variant, predominantly in the south of England, although cases have been identified in nearly 60 local authority areas and numbers are increasing rapidly.”
Infections have climbed dramatically in London and the South East, with rates rising across every local authority area in the capital in the seven days to 10 December and the highest number of hospital admissions sin