Covid-19 infections falling across most of the UK

Boris Johnson is expected to announce an easing of England’s coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday.

People wearing masks on the London Underground
People wearing masks on the London Underground

There has been a “welcome decrease” in Covid-19 infection levels across most of the UK, according to new figures.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that one in 20 people in private households in England is estimated to have had coronavirus in the week to January 15, or three million people, down from 3.7 million in the week to January 6.

In Scotland, around one in 20 is estimated to have had Covid-19 last week, or 236,600 people, down from 297,400.

For Northern Ireland, the latest estimate is also one in 20, but the number of people testing positive is up slightly from 99,200 to 104,300, with the ONS describing the trend there as “uncertain”.

Meanwhile, in Wales the estimate is one in 25, or 112,100 people, down from 169,100.

Sarah Crofts, head of analytical outputs for the ONS Covid-19 Infection Survey, said: “Our latest figures show a welcome decrease in infections across most parts of the UK and among all age groups, apart from younger children.

“We will continue to closely monitor the data to see if this week’s decrease carries forward.”

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce an easing of England’s coronavirus restrictions as he battles to save his premiership.

England’s Plan B measures – which include guidance to work from home, the use of the Covid pass and mandatory mask-wearing in shops and on public transport – are set to expire on January 26.

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