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Covid news – live: Calls for UK-wide rules on Christmas gatherings, after highest daily death toll since May

Guidance for family gatherings at Christmas must be devised between all four nations of the UK, political leaders have been urged.

Boris Johnson, Nicola Sturgeon, Mark Drakeford and Arlene Foster were warned that their governments must "accept the inevitability" people will travel over the festive period.

It comes as the UK recorded its highest daily coronavirus death toll since May, with total deaths involving Covid-19 reaching 61,000.

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UK records highest daily coronavirus death toll since May

Yesterday, the UK recorded its highest daily coronavirus death toll since May as the total deaths involving Covid-19 in the country reached 61,000.

A further 367 people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Tuesday, the government said, while there were another 22,885 lab-confirmed cases.

The number of deaths is the highest daily figure since 27 May, when 422 deaths were reported.

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Calls for UK-wide guidance for family gatherings at Christmas

Guidance for family gatherings at Christmas must be agreed between all four nations of the UK, political leaders have been urged.

Boris Johnson, Nicola Sturgeon, Mark Drakeford and Arlene Foster were warned their governments must "accept the inevitability" people will travel over the festive period.

A letter from the Liberal Democrats in Scotland, Wales and England - together with the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, said guidance cannot be made in isolation given the "interlinked" nature of life in the UK, and called for a "four nations summit" to agree a plan.

The letter said: "It therefore falls on you and your counterparts to work across governments to explore workable solutions that can enable travel to happen safely.

"To manage the implications for public health, we are urging you to hold a four nations summit to co-operate on students' return, to agree uniform guidance on the number of people who can gather, and to explore how best to expand travel options to allow social distancing."

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