In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland around 1 in 40 people tested positive; UK medicines regulator approves Covid pill
- South Africa says Omicron-fuelled fourth Covid wave has passed
- UK must be poised to introduce swift Covid curbs, says NHS leader
- UK PM Boris Johnson says UK doing ‘incomparably better’ against Covid
- Germany, Italy and Portugal to relax isolation, Spain to cut quarantine
- See all our coronavirus coverage
South Korea said on Friday it will extend stricter social distancing rules for two weeks amid a persistent surge in serious coronavirus infections and concerns over the spread of the Omicron variant.
The government reinstated the curbs on 18 December, six weeks after easing them under a “living with Covid-19” scheme, as record-breaking numbers of new infections and serious cases put a huge strain on the country’s medical system.