An estimated one in 95 people in England tested positive for Covid-19 in the week up to 10 July, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
In yet another sign that Covid cases are multiplying in the UK, the ONS estimates that 577,700 people in England had Covid last week – equating to one in 95, or over 1 per cent of the population.
It marks a sharp increase from the previous week, when ONS data suggested one in every 160 people in England had Covid.
The last time more than one per cent of England’s population had Covid was in February, during the country’s major winter lockdown.
The Delta variant of the virus accounted for 99 per cent of all cases, and the North East was the region that saw the sharpest increase.
Hospital admissions also increased by 61 per cent in the week to 10 July, with older age groups accounting for most hospitalisations, but the least positive Covid cases.
Scotland continued the trend seen in the past couple of weeks and outpaced England in terms of Covid vases, with around 1 in 90 people testing positive for the virus – once again breaking a record as the highest Covid rate in Scotland since it started its own ONS infection survey last October.
The sharp rise in Covid cases across all regions of the UK comes just days before most remaining restrictions are due to be lifted in England on Monday’s “Freedom Day”.
Soaring case rates have been evident in the country’s so-called “pingdemic” frenzy in the past week, which has seen over half a million people alerted by the NHS Test and Trace app for coming into contact with someone that tested positive.
Businesses across the board have warned that severe staff shortages due to alerts from the app may hamper their return to normal on Monday, with 20 per cent of retail workers and one in five hospitality workers currently absent.
Health secretary Sajid Javid has previously warned that daily case rates could rise as much as 100,000 per day after all restrictions are lifted, but that the country’s vaccination programme has provided a “wall of defence against the virus.”
On Wednesday, Javid announced: “Two thirds of adults across the UK have now had two jabs. We have beaten our target by almost a week – this is a huge achievement,” in a tweet.
More than 81m vaccine doses have been given to adults in the UK, with 46m (87 per cent) having received a first dose and 35m (67 per cent) now fully vaxxed.