CORONAVIRUS deaths have passed 70,000 in a new grim milestone as cases have increased by 45 per cent in a week.
A further 570 deaths have been recorded bringing the new total to 70,195.
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In the past 24 hours, 32,725 new infections recorded.
In England, 401 people have died in the past 24 hours.
Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are not publishing their deaths today.
This means the true figure will likely jump on December 29 when the data is updated.
Scotland recorded a further 1,165 infections in the past 24 hours.
It comes as:
- The UK's biggest testing lab has been hit with its own coronavirus outbreak
- Boris Johnson has refused to rule out a third national lockdown after Christmas
It comes as 5,000 lorry drivers have been left stranded on the M20 after France shut its border on Tuesday.
Hundreds of soldiers were deployed to free the lorry drivers.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today said more than 10,000 tests have been carried out with just 24 positive results.
France imposed a travel ban in response to fears about the spread of the more infectious coronavirus strain, which is spreading in the UK.
Hauliers must be able to show proof of a negative test result carried out within the past 72 hours in order to be able to cross into France.
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