MailOnline analysis of government statistics revealed that England’s most severely affected areas saw their Covid outbreaks double in the week leading up to Christmas. This is according to MailOnline, which shows how fast Omicron spreads across the country.

In the week ending December 22, 2016, the number of Lower Penwortham North cases rose from 196 to 1,192 for every 100,000 residents, according to the most current regional data.

Official statistics show that the proportion of positive tests in England’s sixth-largest 6,800 wards has doubled during the same period. England is home to about 11million people.

Amazing time-lapse maps show the speed with which Omicron traveled to every corner of the country.

The Sanger Institute is one of the largest national variant-tracking labs. It has data that shows how England became dominant within weeks of detecting the first ultra-transmissible case.

Boris Johnson yesterday remained calm and decided not to bring in any additional restrictions prior to NYE. He instead encouraged people to exercise caution with their social plans. 

No10 has repeatedly warned that strains could cause chaos in the NHS, prompting demands for locking down-style measures. 

Ministers are not ruling out tougher restrictions in January in order to align England with Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. These countries have closed nightclubs, and have reintroduced Omicron’s rule of six.

Covid case rates in regions across England and Wales in the seven days up to December 15
Covid case rates in regions across England and Wales in the seven days up to December 22

MailOnline’s analysis reveals that England’s hardest-hit areas experienced a sextuple increase in Covid cases during the week prior to Christmas. Map depicts: Covid incidence rates across England and Wales for the week ending December 15, left, and 22, right.

MailOnline's analysis shows cases in Lower Penwortham North, a district of Preston, jumped from 196 to 1,192 per 100,000 people in the week leading up to December 22, the latest date regional data is available for

MailOnline analysis shows that Lower Penwortham North cases, which is a Preston district, saw an increase of 196 to 1,192 for every 100,000 residents in the week up to December 22. The latest regional data are available.

Researchers at the Sanger Institute in the UK, which is the nation’s most important variant-tracking laboratory, compiled data showing how England changed from being the dominant country in its ultra-transmissible lineage to being detected towards the end November, to becoming the norm within just weeks.

Omicron cases surged most quickly in London, before other areas of the country started to catch up. Graph shows: The number of laboratory-confirmed Omicron cases in regions across England over time

Omicron cases rose fastest in London before the rest of England caught up. This graph shows the number of Omicron-confirmed cases across England.

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) data shows Omicron now makes up 90.4 per cent of all cases in England. Graph shows: The proportion of cases likely to be Omicron (purple) compared to other variants including Delta (light green) over time

According to the UK Health Security Agency, Omicron accounts for 90.4 percent of all England cases. Graph showing: Omicron is a more common variant than Delta, which has been shown to have a higher proportion over time.

“Mass deaths and hospitalizations are history”: A vaccines expert supports PM’s Covid-light measures 

One of the world’s leading experts in vaccinations defended Boris Johnson’s decision not to increase England’s Covid limits, stating that mass hospitalisations and deaths from deadly diseases are part of ‘history.

Professor Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford University and a member of the Vaccines Taskforce, said the public had been ‘pretty responsible’ in its response to the spread of the Omicron variant.

It came as new figures showed the number of people in hospital with Covid in England is less than half the same time last year – despite cases being three times higher.

“The minister of health has taken the advice and reviewed all data. Sir John said that he believed his judgement of where to go over the coming days was probably correct.

“There are many people aware of the fact that this wave of illness is upon us. In the UK and England specifically, people have been responsible for not going out, spending lots of time with the virus, and trying to stay home.

He added: ‘The horrific scenes that we saw a year ago – intensive care units being full, lots of people dying prematurely – that is now history in my view and I think we should be reassured that that’s likely to continue.’

MailOnline analysis revealed that the Belle Isle South, Leeds saw the most significant increase in Covid infection in England during the week ending December 22, and the positive test count jumped by 457 percent.

Whitby West, Yorkshire (457%) followed by Droylsden East (Tameside), Greater Manchester (439%) and Central Bolton (Greater Manchester) (428%) 

Comparatively to that, approximately 500 cases were reported in 6.800 locations of the country (7.3%).

The biggest fall was in Upper Dales in North Yorkshire which saw its case rate fall from 402 per 100,000 on December 15 to 117.3 per 100,000 on December 22 — a drop of 71 per cent.

Frogpool, Mylor Bridge and Frogpool in Cornwall experienced the second largest drop (70%), followed closely by Appledore in Devon (59%) and Northam North (69%).

Omicron London did not rank among the top 20 growth areas. This supports the claim that London may soon be experiencing a flattening of its epidemic. 

Some of the increases in case numbers will be down to more testing, but the Government data does not break down the number of swabs conducted by Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) — the tiny geographical areas analysed by MailOnline. 

Data from the Sanger Institute show that Omicron has spread quickly, having been spotted in South Northants on December 4, and in other parts of the country over the next few weeks.

Omicron was only 17.5% of all cases within the region on this date. 

According to the UK Health Security Agency, it has increased to around 90% of new cases. 

It quickly became the dominant strain in London and accounted for more than 80 percent of all Covid cases.

This is now also the dominant language in Manchester, Birmingham Sheffield, Nottingham, and Liverpool.

Sanger data does not include test samples from all labs, so it isn’t a complete picture of strain’s rapid spread across the UK.  

UK Government statistics show how the number of Covid tests being conducted has reached 1.5m a day, with the number of swabs carried out having increased massively since Omicron first emerged

According to UK Government statistics, 1.5 million Covid tests are performed each day. The number of swabs has increased dramatically since Omicron was first created.

The most up-to-date figures reveal there were 842 Covid patients in intensive care on ventilators – the lowest level in two months

The most up-to-date figures reveal there were 842 Covid patients in intensive care on ventilators – the lowest level in two months

UK facing calls to reduce Covid isolation within FIVE Days of US ending virus quarantine. 

Britain today was asked to shorten its Covid quarantine time to only five days and align its isolation rules with the US.

American officials scrapped last night an order which required the infected self-isolate 10 days. The infected can return home after the halfway point provided that they do not have symptoms. They are allowed to continue wearing a mask for at least five additional days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bosses, insisted that the decision was based on science and maintained society’s functioning.

Today’s leading experts called for the UK to adopt Omicron as a warning sign, especially since it has decimated businesses during Christmas and forced hundreds of thousands to return home.

Union officials have warned of the dangers posed by the highly transmissible variant, which has been rapidly spreading. This could leave the NHS and other public services in a dangerous state.

Ministers already reduced the time for isolation to seven days. Covid patients will be able to test positive twice by the end of the week.

Sir John Bell who is an immunologist, has advised Government on Covid. However, he said Britain could even go further by replicating the US with lateral flow testing. According to him, swabs can be a good method of identifying who’s infected and who’s not.

Paul Hunter, an infectious disease specialist from University of East Anglia said Covid-infected patients should be allowed to “go about their normal lives” as with a cold.

These data are being released amid heated debates among politicians and experts over No10’s response to rising infections. This comes after England, Scotland, and Wales split with Northern Ireland and refused to accept calls to tighten New Year’s Eve restrictions.

After fears about the Omicron variant caused a drop in trade leading up to Christmas, business leaders called for new support for the struggling hospitality industry.

The news that Covid will not be restricted in England prior to next year was widely welcomed by the entire industry, as it goes beyond Plan B.

British Chambers of Commerce President Baroness McGregor Smith warned that it wouldn’t make up the lost business during the busy season, when people avoided restaurants and pubs.

While the Treasury has announced grants of up to £6,000 for businesses affected, she said that some were losing more than that each day.

‘In January February and March we had rising labour costs and increased energy costs among other costs. She said that the list continues for hospitality businesses and was particularly true of BBC Radio 4 Today.

‘I’m happy to see we are protecting New Years Eve. But it doesn’t go far enough.

Lady McGregor Smith urged the government to extend business rates relief, the emergency VAT rate beyond March 31, and to reinstate a “focused” furlough support program.

She stated that the sector needed to be flexible in paying back loans it had borrowed to get them through the pandemic.

Many, many people are now in greater debt than ever.

She stated that they were now in a situation where they will have to repay the loan. The Treasury should examine the repayment plans for loans throughout the UK. 

Andy Wood (head of Adnams beer) supported her. Andy Wood stated that Adnams saw a drop of 50% in the number of visitors to its pubs and hotels following Professor Chris Whitty’s warning to people about drinking after Omicron became popular.

“More that half of Christmas is gone. It is the sector with long Covid.

He said that support would be needed for the sector during January, February, March and the following months.

There is some relief for business when New Year’s Eve can be celebrated in England. However, there have been concerns from scientists about new restrictions that may not apply to Covid cases.

Experts condemn Boris Johnson’s nerve for not cancelling New Years Eve. They say England’s decision is a matter of principle ‘…, but the Tories are praised for taking the ‘right’ decision. 

Gloomy experts today criticized Boris Johnson’s refusal to cancel New Years Eve and to maintain his nerve, instead of leaving England.

Instead of imposing legally binding restrictions like those in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the Prime Minister prefers to use guidance to encourage people to reduce socialising before 2021’s last social hurrah. 

George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, today stated that government officials are closely watching Covid admissions. However, he refused to dismiss the possibility of imposing additional restrictions for January. 

Critics have criticised No10’s decision not to close nightclubs or other hospitality venues for the New Year festivities. A chief of a medical union claimed that it “speaks volumes” about PM’s attitude.

Professor Danny Altmann (an immunologist at Imperial College London) said that this move appears to demonstrate the ‘greatest divergence among expert clinical/scientific advise and legislation.

University of Brighton virusologist Dr Sarah Pitt stated that different laws in England could lead to people from Scotland and Wales crossing the border to celebrate New Year’s Eve, then returning to their homes to pick up the virus.

Tory MPs supported Johnson’s refusal to issue tougher sanctions. They argued that it was better to trust the “good sense” of British citizens.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said that hospital trusts have not reported a significant increase in critical care patients or ventilators since the last winter lockdown. 

Official coronavirus statistics appeared to justify the Government’s reluctance to resort to economically-crippling curbs, with the number of cases recorded in England having fallen every day since Christmas. 

Although yesterday’s confirmed infected were only seven percent higher than a week ago, they were still above 98,515, but these figures are for England and do not reflect the entire situation of Britain. 

Tory MP Mark Francois has praised Boris Johnson's decision to hold his nerve and go it alone by not cancelling New Year's Eve

Professor Danny Altmann, an immunologist at Imperial College London, said the move seems to show the 'greatest divergence between expert clinical/scientific advice and legislation'

Tory MP Mark Francois (left) has praised Boris Johnson’s decision to hold his nerve and go it alone by not cancelling New Year’s Eve. Experts, including Professor Danny Altmann (left), criticized the decision as a ‘greatest difference between expert clinical/scientific guidance and legislation.

Although Mr Eustice admitted that Omicron-related infections were increasing, he argued that there wasn’t evidence to suggest it is causing the same number of hospital admissions.

According to him, there is encouraging evidence from South Africa showing that hospitalisations are lower and the length of stay at hospital for those who do need it is less than previous versions.

“At this time, we do not believe that any additional interventions are warranted beyond the ones we’ve already made.”

“But we must keep this under close scrutiny, as if we start to notice a significant increase in hospitalisations we will need to take further action.”

But scientists cautioned that any attempt to place restrictions after New Years Eve would be premature.

Professor Altmann told The Guardian: ‘It does feel hard that, at a time when we need to all pull together to maximise all possible mitigations, we seem to have our greatest divergence between expert clinical/scientific advice and legislation.’

Simon Clarke from the University of Reading, cell microbiologist warned officials that data do not reflect Britain’s situation between Christmas Eve to Boxing Day.

He suggested the move was based on incomplete data and it would only become clear how the virus was moving through the population in another week or so — after New Year’s Eve has taken place.

Dr Clarke explained that although nobody would prefer to live in tighter conditions, the public needs to understand that, if there is a serious problem with hospitalisations or mass sickness, then it will be more severe than if authorities had taken action earlier.

And Dr Pitt stated that it is not sensible for the UK to have separate Covid restrictions as partygoers from other countries will only go to England to celebrate New Year’s Eve and then return home. 

She told LBC Radio: ‘If people can’t go to a New Year’s Eve party in Wales or Scotland, they’ll just tip over the borders into England, won’t they, thus potentially taking the virus and spreading it… and then taking it back home. 

“So, it is sensible to have one set if measures throughout the country. I believe it’s also reasonable to have measures in place to stop the spread. 

Dr Pitt called on the government to take a number of measures in order to stop the Omicron variant from spreading. According to Dr Pitt, the Omicron variant is “putting people in serious danger” and “some people are even dying.” 

LBC Radio interviewer, She said that she knew of more Covid-infected people than any other pandemic. 

‘So although there is a balance between the economy and health, they’re not mutually exclusive – it’s not one or the other. 

“We must take this virus serious, but I don’t think we should lock down the entire country. We can just use a handful of measures to try to prevent the spread of the horrible virus.