But minister says public should ask their GP for proof if its needed to travel abroad.
Dido Harding gave figure amid fresh criticism of her service.
"I think he is a very serious threat, a much bigger threat than we’ve had for many years," the Tory ex-cabinet minister warns.
Third wave fears resurface, as Whitty and Vallance give first clues to lessons learned in pandemic.
The I'm A Celebrity star said she "buried her head in her hands" after the infamous gaffe.
Senior Tories have already criticised the move which is at odds with the Conservative 2019 general election manifesto.
Ministers hope the public can behave and avoid a mini-third wave in January.
The health secretary has given the strongest hint yet that 90-minute tests could be rolled out across the country, and confirmed saliva and "pooled" testing is being trialled.
PM sets new target for all coronavirus checks except postal test kits.
The failure to learn from Asia "one of the biggest failures of scientific advice to ministers in our lifetimes", Tory former health secretary says.
About Jeremy Hunt
According to his website: "In December 2005 he was appointed Shadow Minister for Disabled People, where he successfully campaigned for the BBC to increase the amount of subtitling on its programmes. He also campaigned strongly for simplification of the benefits system for disabled people and individual social care budgets. In July 2007 he was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport where he has campaigned for more philanthropy for the arts, local TV, superfast broadband, a schools Olympics and a strengthened domestic tourism industry. "In May 2010 Jeremy was appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport in the new Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition. In September 2012 he was appointed Secretary of State for Health in the Prime Minister's Cabinet reshuffle. "Jeremy divides his time between Westminster and his constituency home in Farnham. He married his wife Lucia in July 2009 and they have a son and a daughter."