LEADERS across the UK have doubled down on Covid advice as they attempt to keep Christmas on track amidst a soaring European death rate.

In her latest coronavirus update today, Nicola Sturgeon said the "most precious gift" Scots can give this Christmas is to be vaccinated against coronavirus and protect loved ones' health.

And she asked citizens to keep working from home and take lateral flow tests each and every time they prepare to head out to socialise.

People in England have also been advised to take a test before visiting crowded indoor spaces, which could include busy shops or Christmas parties.

And in Northern Ireland people are being urged by Stormont ministers to work from home where possible in a bid to curb cases.

The advice comes amid a spike of cases across Europe and concerns that the crisis could engulf Christmas celebrations for a second year running.

READ MORE: Covid in Scotland: 17 deaths and more than 2500 new cases recorded

On Monday Boris Johnson said the UK Government sees no need to introduce fresh Covid-19 restrictions in England, despite rising cases across much of Europe.

Yet the recommendation on lateral flow testing for people without symptoms changed to encourage more people to take a test before entering crowded indoor spaces.

Previously the public was advised to use lateral flow tests twice-weekly.

People are also advised to take a test before visiting a person who is at higher risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19 and get a PCR test if they have symptoms.

Fresh work-from-home advice has been issued in Northern Ireland and ministers urged people to limit their social contacts and wear face coverings in crowded or indoor settings. Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said this is the best chance of avoiding further restrictions in the weeks ahead.

At Holyrood, Sturgeon warned of a "precarious" position in Scotland but stopped short of extending the vaccine passport scheme to more venues.

READ MORE: Get vaccinated or get Covid, health minister tells Germans

From Monday a negative lateral flow test will also allow entry to nightclubs and large venues, she said.

And Welsh health minister Eluned Morgan told a plenary meeting in the Senedd that Wales is "not out of the woods yet", though there will be no changes to the rules for another three weeks with the country remaining on Alert Level 0.

She said: "The signs from the continent are not good. A new wave of coronavirus is once again sweeping across Europe and countries all around us are tightening their restrictions.

"None of us want to see restrictions back in place in Wales at Christmas but neither do we want to see people falling ill with Covid at Christmas.

"We need everyone's help and support to keep the virus under control as we start thinking ahead and planning for Christmas."

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that Europe is likely to experience more than 2 million Covid-19 deaths by March as it urged people to take a "vaccine plus" approach to tackling the virus. Reported daily deaths have risen to almost 4200 a day, which is double the 2100 deaths level seen at the end of September.

READ MORE: Coronavirus vaccines ‘could be given to children under 12 in spring’

Dr Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, said: "In order to live with this virus and continue our daily lives, we need to take a 'vaccine plus' approach.

"This means getting the standard doses of vaccine, taking a booster if offered, as well as incorporating preventive measures into our normal routines.

"Taken together, wearing a mask, washing hands, ventilating indoor spaces, keeping physical distance and sneezing into your elbow are simple, effective ways of gaining control over the virus and keeping societies going."

Meanwhile, new estimates from the Office for National Statistics suggest that more than nine in 10 UK adults have antibodies for Covid-19.

Separate ONS figures show that a total of 169,767 deaths have occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.