Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Wednesday night as Omicron cases doubled across UK in one day.

His message came as the UK recorded the highest daily total of lab-confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.

The new variant was described as the “most significant threat we’ve had since the start of the pandemic” by chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency Dr Jenny Harries.

Official figures show there had been 78,610 new cases recorded as of 9am on Wednesday.

It is the highest figure announced since mass testing began in summer last year.

The Prime Minister defended his controversial plan for Covid passes after a massive rebellion by Tory MPs left the opposition parties questioning his authority to lead the country through the pandemic on Wednesday afternoon.

After 100 Conservatives opposed the measure in the Commons on Tuesday evening, Mr Johnson acknowledged there are “legitimate anxieties” about the impact on civil liberties.

The Prime Minister was joined by England’s chief medical officer Professor Christ Whitty and Dr Nikki Kanani, medical director of primary care for NHS England.

Map shows every confirmed Omicron Covid case in the UK

Here are the key points you need to know from the Downing Street press conference.

Boris Johnson's booster jab warning

The Prime Minister reiterated the need to get a booster jab as Omicron continues to spread across the UK.

Mr Johnson warned: “The doubling rate of Omicron in some regions is now down to less than two days.”

He warned that in some areas the doubling rate was now under two days.

Mr Johnson said: “I’m afraid we’re also seeing the inevitable increase in hospitalisations up by 10% nationally, week on week, and up by almost a third in London.”

Boris Johsnon says 12-15-year-olds can book second Covid vaccine

The Prime Minister has revealed that the 15-minute waiting time after a Covid vaccine is to be removed.

12 - 15-year-olds will also be able to get the vaccine from Monday.

650,000 Covid boosters given out in one day

A total of 656,711 booster and third doses were reported to have been given out on Tuesday in the UK.

This includes a record 548,039 boosters were administered in England.

Smashing the previous record which was 550,253 doses on Saturday.

A total of 24.7 million booster and third doses have now been given out in the UK, which is 3.4 million in the past week.

Boris Johnson has said that this is 45% of all adults in England. 

Boris Johnson outlines 'signs of hope'

Despite the concerning rise in coronavirus cases, the Prime Minister 

said there were also “signs of hopes” and a “great national fightback has begun”.

He added: “People have responded with an amazing spirit of duty and obligation to others and I want to say that each and every one of you who rolls up your sleeve to get jabbed is helping this national effort.”

Army support for vaccine rollout

Boris Johnson said a “territorial army” is emerging to fight the spread of Covid-19.

He told a Downing Street press conference: “Since Sunday night, we have seen more than 20,000 new volunteers signing up to help with the booster effort as stewards, taking the total number to almost 33,000.

“With every day we are expanding the ranks of these healthcare auxiliaries, an emerging territorial army of the NHS in a race against time to get those jabs in arms and save lives.”

UK faces two epidemics

England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said the country is dealing with two epidemics and records will continue to be broken in the coming weeks.

He said: “I’m afraid we have to be realistic that records will be broken a lot over the next few weeks as the rates continue to go up.”

He said Delta appears to be still flat while Omicron is growing.

He said: “What we’ve got is two epidemics on top of one another – an existing Delta epidemic, roughly flat, and a very rapidly-growing Omicron epidemic on top of it.”

Boris Johnson's Covid message to the nation

Boris Johnson said the Government is “throwing everything” at the booster rollout.

He said: “We are throwing everything at it and wherever you are, we’ll be there with a jab for you, so please get boosted now.”

British public told 'you need to do your part'

Dr Nikki Kanani called on the British public to do their partin battling the "one single challenge" that our country faces - the Omicron variant. 

She said: 

"We have two asks of you're a member of the public.

"One is please come forward and get your booster, and if you're unvaccinated come forward and get your first dose.

"Your vaccine is there and it's waiting for you."

She also called on people to "please help your incredible NHS team".

She added: "Come and work with us as a volunteer or a paid member because we need your help."