- South Korea becomes the latest country to confirm cases of the new Covid-19 variant; a family tested positive after returning from the UK last week
- US President Trump signs a Covid relief bill into law, meaning millions of Americans will receive unemployment benefits again
- South Africa becomes the first country on the continent to register more than one million Covid cases
- Hospitals in the south of England say they have seen a "real rise in pressure" as Covid cases rise
- London Ambulance Service received almost 8,000 call-outs on Boxing Day - one of the busiest in its history
- A Chinese citizen journalist who covered Wuhan's coronavirus outbreak has been jailed for four years for "picking quarrels and provoking trouble"
- More than 80.79 million virus cases have been recorded worldwide and 1.76 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. We’ll be bringing you all the latest updates from the UK and around the world. Here are the main headlines:
- Officials in South Korea have detected the new coronavirus variant - first discovered in the UK - in a family of three who arrived from London
- Hospitals in the south of England say they have seen a "real rise in pressure" as the number of Covid patients receiving treatment increases
- London Ambulance Service received almost 8,000 call-outs on 26 December – one of the busiest days in its history
- Donald Trump has signed into law a spending bill which includes a Covid relief payment for millions of Americans. The president had initially refused to sign the bill, saying he wanted to give people bigger one-off payments
- South Africa has become the first country on the continent to register more than one million Covid-19 cases
- A Chinese citizen journalist who covered Wuhan's coronavirus outbreak has been jailed for four years for "picking quarrels and provoking trouble" - a frequent charge against activists
- And hundreds of British tourists are reported to have fled the Swiss ski resort of Verbier to avoid having to quarantine
Cases of new variant in South KoreaSouth Korea is the latest country to confirm cases of the new variant of coronavirus which was first discovered in the UK.
Three South Korean nationals were found to have the new strain of the virus after arriving from London last week.
The family were tested just after their arrival and have remained in quarantine.
Cases of the more contagious variant have been confirmed in several European countries, as well as Canada and Japan.
South Korea suspended all direct flights from the UK last week. Arrivals from Britain must undergo stricter checks at the airport and will be tested for the virus twice.
South Korea is already battling a resurgence of Covid-19 and has introduced its strictest measures yet to try to bring rising infection rates under control.
Find out more about the new variant here.
Trump signs Covid relief and spending packageUS President Donald Trump has signed a coronavirus relief and spending package bill after days of uncertainty, averting a partial government shutdown.
Trump had previously refused to sign the bill, criticising "wasteful spending" and calling for higher payouts to people hit by the pandemic.
The delay meant that around 14 million Americans faced a lapse in unemployment benefit payments and new stimulus cheques. Unemployment benefits will now be restored.
The relief package worth $900bn (£665bn) was approved by Congress after months of negotiation. It is part of a $2.3tn spending package that includes $1.4tn for normal federal government spending.
Republican and Democratic Party lawmakers had been pleading with the president to sign it before a budget deadline of midnight on Monday. If he had not, some government agencies would have had to close, unless legislators could pass a stopgap bill.
Find out more here .
China jails citizen journalist for Wuhan reportsA Chinese citizen journalist who covered the initial coronavirus outbreak in the city of Wuhan has been jailed for four years.
Zhang Zhan was found guilty of "picking quarrels and provoking trouble" , a frequent charge levelled against activists. She is one of several citizen journalists who have run into trouble for reporting on Wuhan.
The 37-year-old former lawyer was detained in May and has been on hunger strike for several months. Her lawyers say she is in poor health.
There is no free media in China and authorities are known to clamp down on activists or whistleblowers seen as undermining the government's response to the outbreak.
In a video interview with an independent filmmaker before her arrest, Zhang said she decided to travel to Wuhan in February after reading an online post by a resident about life in the city during the outbreak.
Once there, she began documenting what she saw on the streets and hospitals in livestreams and essays, despite threats by authorities, and her reports were widely shared on social media.