LONDON, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Another 18,662 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 1,512,045, according to official figures released Sunday.
The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 398 to 55,024, the data showed.
Also on Sunday, ministers from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have backed plans to allow different households to meet "for a small number of days" over Christmas.
According to the Cabinet Office, ministers from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have endorsed a "shared objective of facilitating some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days".
Meanwhile, the minister also emphasized that the public should "remain cautious", and that "wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact".
The ministers' agreement came as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reported to unveil his anti-coronavirus plan for winter on Monday, possibly with the details of coronavirus restrictions during the Christmas season.
The "COVID winter plan" is expected to place more areas into the higher tiers. The strategy is to keep the virus under control to ensure further restrictions are not needed, Downing Street said.
Meanwhile, a leading British statistician warned Sunday that "there will be a price to pay for relaxing rules at Christmas".
If restrictions are changed to allow greater mixing at Christmas then infections will inevitably go up, David Spiegelhalter from the University of Cambridge, told Times Radio.
England is currently under a month-long national lockdown until Dec. 2, the second of its kind since the coronavirus outbreak in Britain, in a bid to quell the resurgence of coronavirus.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.