Covid-19 rate in England 'shows signs of levelling off', ONS says

26 November 2020, 11:06 | Updated: 26 November 2020, 12:37

The Testing rate of coronavirus in England is levelling off, the ONS has said
The Testing rate of coronavirus in England is levelling off, the ONS has said. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

The Covid-19 infection rate in England "has shown signs of levelling off", as the country prepares to come out of a national lockdown.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), around 633,000 people in private households in England had Covid-19 between November 15 and 21, equivalent of around 1.16% of the population.

The figures represent a slight decrease from 664,700 people, or 1.22% of the population, who were estimated to have Covid-19 in the period November 8 to 14.

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

The ONS said it has been unable to publish a new estimate for the average number of new cases per day of Covid-19 in private households in England, due to issues with data from one of the laboratories that processes swab results.

The news came just minutes before it was revealed what tiers areas of England would be placed into when the country emerges from lockdown.

It was confirmed London and Liverpool will enter Tier 2 of England's new Covid system and Birmingham and Manchester will be in Tier 3.

The only areas to end up in Tier 1 are Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight.

Teignbridge - which has the lowest Covid-19 rate in England at 52.9 per 100k - has been placed in Tier 2.

Large swathes of the Midlands, North East and North West are in the most restrictive Tier 3, but London will be in Tier 2.

Liverpool, which had been in Tier 3 before the lockdown, will move to Tier 2 in recognition of efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.

More to follow...