COVID-19 infection rates drop across the UK, data shows


Coronavirus infection rates in the community have fallen further across the UK, latest figures show.

The estimates published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) are likely to be studied carefully by Boris Johnson as he prepares to set out his “roadmap” for lifting the lockdown in England next week.

The data showed around one in 115 people in private households across the country had COVID-19 between 6 and 12 February – down from around one in 80 the previous week.

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It is the lowest figure since the week to 5 December, when the estimate also stood at one in 115 people.

In Wales, around one in 125 people are estimated to have had COVID-19 in the week to 12 February – down from the previous ONS estimate of one in 85 over the previous seven days.

In Northern Ireland, the ONS estimates over the same period around one in 105 people had COVID-19, down from one in 75.

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The estimate for Scotland is around one in 180 people, down from one in 150.

The ONS data confirms this week’s findings of the authoritative Imperial College London’s REACT study, which showed infections to be falling quickly in England.

North West England had the highest proportion of people of any region in England likely to test positive for coronavirus, the ONS said.

Around one in 85 people in private households in the region were estimated to have had COVID-19 in the week ending February 12.

For London the estimate was one in 100, and for the West Midlands it was one in 110.

The other estimates were one in 120 people for the East Midlands and for Yorkshire and the Humber; one in 125 people for eastern England; and one in 135 for the North East, South East and South West.

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