The neighbouring French Departement to Monaco has recorded the highest coronavirus infection rate since the start of the pandemic almost two years ago, at 936 per 100,000 on Tuesday, December 21.

On top of that, 10 hospital patients in the Departement died from the virus in a 24-hour period, according to Public Health France. This is the highest daily toll since April, when France was in the grip of a fourth wave.

The number of patients in intensive care is also increasing, with 15 admissions in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 76.

In France, 72,832 new cases and 229 new deaths were reported on Tuesday, December 21. In the UK, the figures were 90,629 new cases and 172 new deaths.

FILE PHOTO: A coronavirus patient is treated in a French hospital in April Reuters