Covid variant infections drop in most parts of England after national lockdown introduced

The number of people testing positive for the new UK Covid variant has dropped in most parts of England after tougher restrictions were announced, figures show.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) infection survey reveal the percentage of people testing positive with the new variant has decreased in the week ending 16 January 2021, particularly in London, the South East and the East of England.

"In other regions the percentage of new variant compatible positives has levelled off," it adds.

However, the ONS has found an estimated one in 55 people in private households in England had Covid-19 between January 10 and 16 2021.

This is the equivalent of 1.02 million people, or 1.88% of the population.

Credit: PA

But this is a drop from the estimated one in 50 people, or 1.12 million, for the period December 27 2020 to January 2 2021.

In London, around one in 35 people in private households had Covid-19 between January 10 and 16, according to the ONS.

This is the highest figure for any region in England.

The ONS estimates that around one in 40 people in north-east England had Covid-19 during this period, with one in 50 in north-west England and the West Midlands.

The other estimates are one in 55 people in south-east England, one in 60 in the East Midlands, one in 75 in eastern England, one in 80 in south-west England and one in 85 in Yorkshire and the Humber.

However, in some areas of England as many as one in 20 people in private households are estimated to have had Covid-19 between January 12 and 17, according to the ONS.

Ruth Corscadden and Daniel McCollam with a patient outside Causeway Hospital Credit: Liam McBurney/PA

These areas are Rochdale, West Lancashire, Knowsley, Liverpool and Sefton in north-west England; and Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham, Newham and Croydon in London.

In Wales, around one in 70 people had Covid-19 between January 10 and 16 – unchanged from the previous ONS estimate for December 27 to January 2.

In Northern Ireland the ONS estimates around one in 60 people had Covid-19 between January 10 and 16, up from one in 200 for December 27 to January 2.

The estimate for Scotland is broadly unchanged, up slightly from around one in 115 people for December 25 to 31 to one in 100 for January 10 to 16.

All figures are for people in private households.