As the year draws to a close, the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate countries across the globe, with millions of people set to welcome the new year from their own homes.
Worldwide, there have been more than 82 million recorded infections of COVID-19, of which 1.8 million people have died, according to Worldometer.
Cases have surged in the past month thanks to a new strain of the deadly virus that has rapidly spread across the UK, and subsequently leaked into other countries, including in Australia.
Several European countries placed new restrictions on travel to and from the United Kingdom, including Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Bulgaria, El Salvador, France and Sweden.
Here's what you need to know about COVID-19 around the world right now.
Watch: What you're like in isolation, according to your star sign. Post continues below.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned the new variant of the coronavirus, which could be up to 70 per cent more transmissible, is threatening to overwhelm its healthcare system.
The new strain has prompted strict lockdown measures for London and southeast England, whilst ambulances with COVID-19 patients have been seen queueing outside hospitals in England. The UK Health Secretary is reportedly preparing to announce even tougher restrictions amid surging cases.
These ambulances are queuing outside Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham tonight. There’s a sick patient inside every one of them. They can’t even enter the building.— Rachel Clarke (@doctor_oxford) December 29, 2020
This is the reality of Covid - right here, right now. Hospitals at breaking point. (H/T @drpunith) pic.twitter.com/YlKLH8GBUW