The Omicron variant has doubled in one day as the UK records a further 3,201 infections, bringing the total cases of the highly transmissible strain to 14,909.
Experts believe this number to be far higher across the country and are predicting 1 million cases by the end of the month.
Friday is the third consecutive day the UK has beaten its record for Covid cases, as there has been another 93,045 daily infections, which is up on 88,000 reported on Thursday, and 78,000 on Wednesday. There was a further 111 deaths were confirmed on Friday.
According to latest research Omicron largely evades immunity from past Covid infections and two vaccine doses
and boosters are key to mitigating the impact of the variant, new research suggests.
The risk of reinfection with Omicron is 5.4 times greater than that of the Delta variant and boosters are key to mitigating the impact of the variant, according to researchers at Imperial College London.
The scientific research also showed that there is no evidence the new variant has a lower severity than the Delta strain.
Booster jabs are effective for protection, but this will wane over time the study shows.