Public Health England also recorded 55,892 new cases giving a total of 2,488,780 Brits infected with the virus since the outbreak.
The number of deaths is a slight drop from the 981 people who died with Covid-19 within 28 days of testing positive for the virus yesterday.
Yesterday’s data was the highest daily figure reported since April 24, when 1,010 deaths were reported, there is likely to be a lag in reporting deaths over the Christmas period.
820 of the deaths announced today were recorded in England giving a national death toll of 64,118.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 89,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, Public Health England Medical Director, said: “We know the overwhelming majority of deaths reported today are people who sadly passed away in just the last few days. Every life lost to this disease is a sadness. It is imperative we all take action now to protect our families and our friends.
“We have all had to make huge sacrifices this year, but please ensure that you keep your distance from others, wash your hands and wear a mask. A night in at New Year will mean you are significantly reducing your social contacts and can help stop the spread of the virus.”
Professor Hugh Montgomery warned hospitals were facing a “tsunami” of Covid cases and he feared it would get worse after New Year’s Eve.
He urged people to accept that it was going to be a “miserable” occasion this year and not to gather in groups. He told Radio 5 Live: “We are in a lot of trouble in UK intensive care now.
“Just huge numbers coming in, my heart goes out as well to our emergency departments, seeing a tsunami in the last week or two of cases. Everyone is working at maximum stretch.”
It echoes official advice to stay at home and not hold parties.
About 44 million people in England are now living under the toughest level of Covid restrictions after tier four was expanded at midnight.