Covid-19 infections across England appear to be levelling off - but vast regional variations remain

Credit: PA

Covid-19 infections across England appear to be levelling off according to new data, but there remains vast regional variations.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) infection survey looks at the rate of positive coronavirus tests in an area and maps how infection levels are changing over time.

Here's what the latest figures show regionally, nationally, and by age group:

How have rates on infection changed in each nation?

In England the rate of positive Covid-19 tests has shown signs of levelling off in recent weeks, with latest data suggesting the equivalent of one in 85 people have the virus.

The ONS found an estimated 633,000 people in private households in England had Covid-19 between November 15 and 21 - a slight decrease from 664,700 the week before.

The positive rate in Scotland has increased over recent weeks - with one in every 115 people estimated to have reported a positive test.

Cardiff city centre has been busy with Christmas shoppers after the country came out of lockdown Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

In Northern Ireland, one in every 145 people is estimated to have Covid-19. There the rate of positive tests peaked around the middle of October - decreasing over the most recent weeks.

Positivity rates peaked in Wales around the end of October, with a decrease in recent weeks. Thursday's ONS figures estimate one in 185 people have Covid-19 in Wales.

How do regional infection rates compare across England?

The highest positivity rates in the latest batch of data are seen in Yorkshire and The Humber, the North West and the North East.

This is a factor in the government's decision on which parts of the country will fall into the strictest Covid tier of restrictions once England's lockdown ends on 2 December.

A Covid-19 sign in Manchester. Credit: PA

Over the past week, positivity rates increased in the East Midlands and continued to decrease in the North West.

In the West Midlands, East of England, London, South East and South West the rate appears to be decreasing.

What age group is seeing the most number of Covid-19 infections?

For the most recent week of data, increases in the rate of positive Covid-19 tests were only seen among secondary school age children.

Indeed rates remain highest among this age group as well as young adults.

Among the youngest age groups measured; 18 to 24-year-olds; and 25 to 35-year-olds positivity rates levelled off.

Positivity rated decreased in adults aged 35 and over.

The Covid-19 Infection Survey is based on more than 712,000 tests gathered from households across the UK over the past six weeks - regardless of whether people have symptoms.