Europe sees record virus case rise

France has reported Europe's highest ever number of new daily Covid cases as countries across the continent struggle to contain the Omicron variant.

But France, with its 179,807 cases on Tuesday, was not alone in breaking records, as Italy, Greece, Portugal and England all reported record highs too.

The figures could be due in part to reporting delays over Christmas.

Countries had been reporting rises running up the festive period, driven by the more contagious Omicron variant.

Studies suggest it is milder than Delta, with a 30% to 70% lower chance of infected people ending up in hospital. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that a surge in cases across Europe will push health systems towards the brink of collapse.

On Monday, French health minister Olivier Véran warned "everything suggests" France could see as many as 250,000 cases a day by the start of January, while the French Hospital Federation has warned that the "most difficult weeks are yet to come".

France's Prime Minister Jean Castex announced new restrictions earlier this week including at least three days a week mandatory working from home for those who can from early January.

The country's booster rollout has also ramped up, with more than 23 million having received a booster to date.