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UK refuses to rule out tougher COVID-19 restrictions

The health secretary, Sajid Javid has refused to rule out further Covid restrictions for England, as the Omicron variant spreads around the country.

A further 12,133 Omicron cases have been confirmed in the UK, although the true number is likely to be far higher.

BBC asked about possible new measures to slow the spread, Sajid Javid said there were “no guarantees in this pandemic”.

The government and devolved leaders are to discuss the situation in a Cobra meeting at 17:00 GMT.

He did not rule out a circuit-breaker – a short, sharp lockdown – or new restrictions before Christmas, Mr Javid said “There are no guarantees in this pandemic, “At this point we just have to keep everything under review.”

A further 82,886 daily Covid cases were reported across the UK on Sunday, after several days of record highs last week.

Editing by Omotola Oguneye