Tens of thousands of people in Shropshire have received a booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine in the past week, new figures reveal.

The booster jab rollout has been scaled up in recent days amid concern over the spread of the Omicron variant in the UK, with daily Covid-19 cases reaching record numbers.

But while Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled out bringing in new restrictions in England before Christmas, tougher rules could be in force by the New Year in a bid to protect the NHS.

Data from the UK coronavirus dashboard shows at least 30,360 people in Shropshire received a booster or third vaccine dose in the week ending Monday, December 20 – the latest available data.

That was up from 19,485 the previous week– a rise of 56 per cent.

Of the latest seven days, Sunday, December 19 saw the most extra jabs in arms (5,055) – the highest number since the NHS booster jab campaign was launched in mid-September.

A total of 183,837 people in Shropshire had received a booster or third dose by Monday – at least 62 per cent of people aged 12 and over, based on the number of people on the National Immunisation Management Service database.

They were among the 29.9 million people across the UK to have received an extra vaccine dose as of December 20 – up from 24.1 million a week earlier.

Mr Johnson said on December 21 that there is not enough evidence to justify tougher coronavirus restrictions before Christmas but added that further measures post-December 25 could not be ruled out.

In a video message, the Prime Minister said: “There is no doubt that Omicron continues to surge with a speed unlike anything we’ve seen before.

“The situation remains extremely difficult, but I also recognise that people have been waiting to hear whether their Christmas plans are going to be affected.

“What I can say tonight is that naturally we can’t rule out any further measures after Christmas – and we’re going to keep a constant eye on the data, and we’ll do whatever it takes to protect public health.”

He went on to encourage people to “drop everything” if they have yet to get a vaccine.

Mr Johnson’s comments came after Chancellor Rishi Sunak offered a £1 billion support package to hospitality and leisure businesses hit by Covid restrictions amid concerns over the high transmission of Omicron.

The additional help includes one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises for businesses in the affected sectors in England, which the Treasury expects will be administered by local authorities and to be available in the coming weeks.