One in 25 people in England had Covid last week
One in 15 people in London had coronavirus in week ending 23 December
More than two million in UK had coronavirus in week before Christmas
A further 332 people have died within 28 days of a positive Covid test.
11,452 Patients in hospital in England the highest since February.
NHS staff absences have nearly doubled with 24,632 staff at NHS hospital trusts ill with coronavirus or having to self-isolate on Boxing Day.
In London, staff absences at hospital trusts have quadrupled in a month to 4,580.
It has prompted fresh demands from NHS leaders for essential workers in health and other sectors to be prioritised for lateral flow tests, which are seeing mass shortages.
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said the health service was facing a “perfect storm” of rising COVID hospital admissions and illness alongside increasing staff absences.