Ministers have reportedly resisted calls from scientific advisors to introduce new measures to tackle the spread of Covid-19 before Christmas, Press Association has reported.

Confirmed cases are rising rapidly, with the faster-spreading Omicron strain rising by more than 12,000 in the UK.

London alone has confirmed 10,000 cases, according to data from Sunday, December 19.

But around one-third of the Cabinet are said to be reluctant to support new restrictions in the coming days, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak among them, according to The Times.

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The paper reported that 10 ministers are resisting a call by the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance at the weekend for new restrictions to be brought in as soon as possible to prevent the health service from being overwhelmed.

Mr Johnson has been presented with three options to tackle the spread of the virus, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The paper reported that they range from guidance asking people to limit indoor contacts, to rules on household mixing, social distancing and a curfew on pubs and restaurants, and thirdly a full lockdown.

An unnamed Cabinet minister is quoted in The Telegraph saying the data presented by Sir Patrick and England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty on Saturday was “just trashed by the Cabinet”.

The source said, “guidelines, rather than restrictions, are entirely possible”.

Speaking on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said there are “no guarantees in this pandemic” and “everything [is] under review”.

He confirmed that if new rules were to be proposed, Parliament would be recalled to approve them, describing that approach as “only right and proper”.

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg later reiterated Mr Javid’s stance, but insisted it was “too early” to forecast whether a recall would be necessary.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour: “Chris Whitty is himself saying we don’t have the full data, they are not yet available, we are getting more information from South Africa that is more advanced in the Omicron variant so it is too early to make these forecasts and it is really interesting that people are doing things for themselves.

“The cancellation of parties, the decisions not to socialise, the cancellations are people realising that they can make choices for themselves. They don’t always need to be told what to do by the Government.”

London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan warned that if restrictions are not brought in soon the NHS could be “on the verge of collapse”, with sickness affecting workforce levels.

A further 12,133 confirmed cases of the variant have been reported across the UK, the data on Sunday showed, bringing the total confirmed cases of Omicron across the four nations to 37,101.

In total, a further 82,886 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases have been recorded in the UK as of 9am Sunday, the Government said.