England and Wales has recorded 196 coronavirus hospital deaths on Boxing Day, it has been revealed.

London suffered the most with 44 deaths as a mutant variant has sent the number of cases in the region skyrocketing.

Some 35 of the patients who died in UK hospitals in the 24 hours to Saturday, December 26, were in Wales.

Daily deaths and cases figures won’t be updated in Northern Ireland until December 28, while Scotland will continue to upload case numbers, but not deaths until December 28. 

There were 35 deaths in the North East and Yorkshire, and 32 in the Midlands, according to the latest figures.

Queues gather in Manchester today as shoppers take advantage of Boxing Day Sales

Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire will move into Tier 4, created in response to a variant of Covid-19 discovered in the UK, from Saturday

The figures for December 25 are just for England, as the devolved nation’s statistics haven’t been included in the Government dashboard over Christmas

Last Saturday 432 people died in UK hospitals – though this included all four nations, making today’s figures incomparable.  

Deaths in care homes and the wider community in England and Wales will be released later this afternoon.  

It comes as Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire move into Tier 4, created in response to a variant of Covid-19 discovered in the UK, today.

The parts of Essex still in Tier 2, Waverley in Surrey and Hampshire including Portsmouth and Southampton, but with the exception of the New Forest, will also move into the toughest tier.

London suffered the most with 44 deaths as a mutant variant has sent the number of cases in the region skyrocketing. Pictured, an empty Regent Street on Boxing Day

Two women brave the elements to have a socially distanced Christmas lunch, with all the trimmings, on Clapham Common in London which is in Tier 4 

Four-year-old Archie receives gifts, socially distanced, from his grandparents in Sutton Park, in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham on Christmas Day. Birmingham will remain in Tier 3 

Families turned out for the traditional Christmas Day swimming on the beach yesterday in Brighton. The area will move into Tier 4 today

The additional six million going into Tier 4 takes the total number of people under the toughest restrictions to 24 million – 43 per cent of England’s population. A further 24.8 million will be in Tier 3. 

Many had to make the most of a Christmas Day already under Tier 4 restrictions in London and the south east.  

Photographs showed groups meeting to eat their Christmas dinners on Clapham Common in London while others headed to beach in Brighton to get some fresh air. 

Meanwhile in other parts of the country some families were able to visit their elderly relatives in care homes to celebrate festivities. Some families in Birmingham were pictured meeting grandparents in parks to exchange gifts. 

Shoppers queued from 4am to take advantage of retail giant Next’s Boxing Day sales at Bullring Shopping Centre in Birmingham this morning. Footfall for shopping is down 57 per cent in the UK up to 10am compared with last year

Bargain hunters wearing face masks can be seen carrying bags on Newcastle’s Northumberland Street today during the Boxing Day sales

Today, bargain hunters headed to the shops in their droves for the Boxing Day sales in Tiers 2 and 3 while high streets stood empty in Tier 4.

Britons flocked to Next stores in Liverpool, Birmingham and North Tyneside as they hunted for bargains at the retail giant early this morning, with crowded scenes also pictured in Newcastle.

Around 200 people had formed a socially-distanced line by 5.50am outside Next in Leicester, which is under Tier 3 restrictions.  

The long queues came in stark contrast to the scenes captured in London, with Regent Street and Oxford Street left deserted as the city remains under Tier 4 rules.

It comes as sales at shops are predicted to drop by 56 per cent to £1.4billion, according to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) and VoucherCodes.co.uk. 

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