Covid case rates dropped at end of July after England's 'Freedom Day' reopening

6 August 2021, 12:17 | Updated: 6 August 2021, 13:12

Covid case rates have fallen in England.
Covid case rates have fallen in England. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

The proportion of people in England who tested positive for Covid has fallen, according to new data.

The latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show about one in 75 people in England's private households had Covid in the week to July 31.

That is down from one in 65 the week before - despite England's Freedom Day unlocking on July 19.

As the country entered step four of its roadmap out of lockdown, legal requirements such as social distancing and the use of face coverings were lifted.

The percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 was estimated to have decreased in the North West, East Midlands, West Midlands, London and the South East, the ONS said.

That said, for the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, South West and East of England, the trend was uncertain.

North-east England had the highest proportion of people of any region likely to test positive for coronavirus in the week to July 31: around one in 40.

Yorkshire and the Humber had the second highest estimate: around one in 55.

South-eastern England had the lowest estimates: around one in 120.

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Other parts of the UK also saw a drop in case rates in the week to July 31.

In Wales, around one in 230 people were estimated to have had Covid-19 - down from one in 160 in the previous week.

Around one in 120 people were estimated to have had the virus in Scotland, also down from one in 110 in the previous week.

It comes as both countries intend to ease their restrictions in coming days, with Wales moving to alert level zero on Saturday and Scotland lifting restrictions on Monday.

However, the latest ONS data showed that Northern Ireland saw an increase in case rates, with the latest estimate being around one in 55 people, up from one in 65.

It was the highest level since the week to January 23 for Northern Ireland.