We're pausing our live coverage of the pandemic now but we'll be back tomorrow morning. Here's a reminder of the day's main developments:
- Germany will ban unvaccinated people from shops and bars, unless they have recently recovered from Covid, and Chancellor Angela Merkel says a nationwide vaccination mandate could be imposed from February 2022
- The UK government has signed deals to buy 114 million more doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to use in 2022 and 2023. Pfizer's boss told the BBC that annual jabs "are likely to be needed" to maintain high levels of protection
- Families who lost loved ones during the pandemic have said they are "sickened" by a No 10 Christmas party held during last year's Covid restrictions
- UK regulators have approved a new treatment that could reduce hospitalisation and death by 79% in high-risk adults
- Scientists believe they have found "the trigger" that leads to extremely rare blood clots after the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine
- Health officials say the new coronavirus variant Omicron has now become dominant in South Africa and is driving a sharp increase in new infections
- But the World Health Organization says it believes existing vaccines "will still prevent severe disease" among people who contract the Omicron variant
- A further 53,945 coronavirus cases have been recorded in the UK - the highest daily total since 17 July, when 54,674 were recorded.
Today's live page posts were written by Jen Meierhans, Joseph Lee, Hamish Mackay, George Wright and Jack Hunter. The live page was edited by Emma Harrison and Emma Owen. Thanks for joining us.