England's latest research has found that approximately 100,000 individuals are now catching COVID-19 every day, with 128 per 10,000 suspected of being infected.
In England, the R rate is now around 1.6, but in some regions, there are higher rates, with new infections doubling every nine days.
Infections are still highest among younger individuals, but percentages catch up quickly in over-55s. Cases remain highest in the north-east, but rates are now accelerating more quickly in the south.
This will increase pressure to take further action on Downing Street, and there are already projections that areas in the south are on the verge of entering tier-three constraints.
Concerns about tough Christmas restrictions are on the rise across the nation.
The number of registered infections in the Netherlands fell to 8,123 on Wednesday, which is considerably lower than the previous day but is believed to be the result of a technical malfunction encountered by the RIVM Institute of Health.
Seven new so-called Extra Large test locations will open nationwide in December. The centers will be built by the military and manned by them. There are currently a thousand troops being trained to carry out the tests.
Rapid tests will also be available there in addition to the normal PCR tests. Businesses will also be allowed to open test centers on-site. The objective is to have four million tests available each month for a nation with nearly 18 million inhabitants from November onwards.
With Angela Merkel managing to convince state leaders to sign up to the plan, Germany will be placed under partial lockdown for one month from Monday. Except for takeaway service, the measures will see restaurants and bars closed. Gyms, cinemas, and theaters will close and domestic tourism will effectively shut down, with hotels instructed not to accept reservations unless for essential reasons the guest can prove that they are traveling.
Chancellor Merkel will speak about the new measures in parliament today. She said at her press conference on Wednesday: "These are tough measures. These are tough measures. These are nationwide measures. But we have to act and we have to act now to avoid a national health emergency. We don't want to get into that kind of emergency, so we have to take action."
A demonstration is being staged today by medical staff in the Belgian city of Liege, demanding more support staff as hospitals fill up with COVID-19 patients again. According to Sciensano, a public health institute, 749 people have been admitted to hospitals in Liege in the last week and 169 patients are in the ICU.
The institute has now granted permission to hospitals to recall medical personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19, but who do not show any symptoms if there are no other options available.
Meanwhile, a ministerial decree to harmonize the various COVID-19 measures across different regions of Belgium was issued overnight. On Friday, new measures could be introduced nationwide, which are expected to focus mostly on the hospitality industry and shops.
But a lockdown can not be ruled out, given the continued spike in new infections. The Walloon administration has already warned that if the federal government fails to do so, it could impose its own lockdown.
In Belgium, 21,048 new cases were reported in 24 hours, with an average of 69.3 deaths per day in the past week, up 35.7 percent from the previous week.