The global tally of confirmed coronavirus cases hit 60 million on Wednesday.
In Europe, 1 million new cases were recorded over just five days, for a total of more than 16 million cases, including 365,000 deaths.
Governments across Europe are struggling to impose restrictions on public life while allowing families to celebrate Christmas without further fuelling outbreaks.
While a national lockdown in England is due to end next week, Germany, Spain, and Italy have all announced restrictions over the holiday period, including limits on house guests.
In Germany, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 22,268 to 983,588, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.
Finland’s COVID-19 situation has deteriorated rapidly in recent days according to the Prime Minister Sanna Marin. She added that the government decided it did not yet have the grounds to adopt emergency measures as it did in March.
Finland’s 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 inhabitants stood at 75.8 on Wednesday, Europe’s second lowest level behind Iceland, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control data showed, however the Finnish government warned the number of new cases was rising at a worrying pace again.
In Sweden, Prince Carl Philip and his wife Princess Sofia have tested positive for COVID-19, the Swedish royal court announced.
In another development, Boris Johnson is expected to be free of his flat above Downing Street from today, after spending two weeks in isolation.