COVID news: New UK coronavirus death figures revealed – as financial support announcement made by government – Sky News

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Coronavirus latest as football fans won’t be allowed in stadiums from Boxing Day and Hogmanay events are cancelled under new Scotland restrictions; Boris Johnson rules out restrictions before Christmas; former SAGE scientist warns Omicron is spreading “incredibly fast”.
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Join us in the morning for all the latest news on COVID-19.
The North American Hockey League, known as the NHL, will not send players to the Beijing Olympics in February due to COVID disrupting the season, the Associated Press are reporting. 
Both Ecuador and Peru have announced new restrictions to try and keep the Omicron variant in check.
Peru has closed its land borders to visitors, and has put curfews in place overnight on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Anybody over 18 will need to show they are vaccinated to get domestic flights or coaches.
Events in the capital, Lima, will be limited to 0% capacity. 
Ecuador has announced the suspension of mass events, and anybody over 12 will need to prove vaccination before entering public offices.
Restaurants and cinemas will be limited to 50% capacity.
Peru and Ecuador have both vaccinated more than 60% of their populations, and have 12 and 22 cases of Omicron respectively.
Coronavirus news features on a number of Wednesday’s front pages.
You can follow our full press preview here.
You can also watch the Press Preview on Sky News every evening from 10.30pm.

Reviewing Wednesday’s papers are Sonia Sodha, chief leader writer at The Observer and  Christopher Hope, chief political correspondent at the Daily Telegraph.
The Israeli government is preparing to start a fourth round of coronavirus vaccinations soon, initially to the elderly and medical workers.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said: “This is wonderful news that will assist us in getting through the Omicron wave that is engulfing the world.

“The State of Israel is continuing to stand at the forefront of the global effort to deal with the pandemic. The citizens of Israel were the first in the world to receive the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and we are continuing to pioneer with the fourth dose as well.
“I call on everyone who meets the criteria that the members of the committee have set: Go and get vaccinated. Take responsibility for the health and livelihoods of us all. The vaccines save lives.”

There were 897,000 booster shots on Monday this week, Health Secretary Javid has said.
According to the UK Health Security Agency dashboard, an exact total of 897,979 boosters were actually administered yesterday.
In total, 52% of people aged over 12 in the UK – 29,876,223 people – have had a booster or third dose.
 England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, and the government’s chief scientific advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance, briefed Tory MPs about the Omicron variant situation this afternoon – including hospitalisations.
Sky News political correspondent Tamara Cohen has been told the data shown to the politicians are still not clear – and a change to this in not expected soon.
The UK’s chief medical officers, including England’s Professor Chris Whitty, have sent a letter of thanks to their colleagues for their hard work this year.
He says unvaccinated people have a good reason to be concerned about the Omicron variant.
The president also talks up the importance of getting a third – or booster – vaccine.
He adds it’s “highly unlikely” the vaccinated will get seriously ill.
Mr Biden says that both he and Donald Trump have got their booster shots – something the pair agree on.
Here is a graph showing the COVID hospitalisation rates in the UK – with a mark to show when the Omicron variant was first reported.
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