Rise In England's Coronavirus Cases May Be 'Levelling Off', New Figures Suggest

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated there were 3,700 new cases per day in the week to August 2.

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The recent rise in coronavirus infections across England may be “levelling off”, official figures published on Friday suggest.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said an average of 28,300 people in private households in England had Covid-19 between July 27 and August 2.

This was the equivalent of about 0.05% of the population, or one in 1,900 individuals.

Boris Johnson postponed the planned easing of lockdown measures, due to begin on August 1, amid fears the infection rate was rising.

But Katherine Kent, the co-head of the ONS Covid-19 infection survey analysis lead, said on Friday the rise might not be as steep as some had feared.

“Although we are still reporting an increase in England since the lowest recorded level of infection in late June, this week’s estimates suggest this trend may be levelling off when compared with the data we published last week,” she said.

The study showed that in the week to August 2 there were 3,700 new cases per day, a decrease from the 4,200 per day recorded in the previous week.

The figures do not include people staying in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings.

Last week the prime minister said he had decided to “squeeze the brake pedal” on lifting lockdown in order to keep the virus under control.

The move meant venues including bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos will not be reopened until August 15 at the earliest.

The government is also expected to make an announcement on Friday regarding the status of the local lockdown measures in the north west of England and Leicester.

Measures banning mixing between households were due for review on Thursday, a week after they were brought in for residents in Greater Manchester, parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire, as well as Leicester.

Meanwhile, quarantine measures were announced on Thursday evening for travellers arriving into the UK from Belgium, Andorra and The Bahamas – with Britons advised against all but essential travel to the three countries.

The restrictions – which mean those arriving will have to self-isolate for 14 days – came into force at midnight in Wales, with the same rules applying in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 4am on Saturday.


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