Covid cases among teenagers highest in two months, but overall rates continue to drop

  • Video report by ITV News Health Editor Emily Morgan

The rate of Covid-19 cases among 10 to 19-year-olds in England is at its highest in two months, as the data begins to reflect the return to schools.

The figure comes, however, amid a backdrop of falling case rates overall.

In the week to March 28, case rates for the teenage age group stood at 109.8 cases per 100,000 people in the week to March 28 - an increase from 102.3 the previous week and the highest since the first week of February.

Emily Morgan has more on the warnings to remain cautious of Covid this Easter weekend:

The latest weekly surveillance report from Public Health England likely is likely to be a reflection of of schools reopening in England from March 8, as well as the mass testing programme in secondary schools, PHE said.

Rates have fallen slightly in all other age groups.

Around one in 370 people in private households in England had Covid-19 in the week to March 27.

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That's a slight decrease from one in 340 the previous week, Office for National Statistics figures showed.

It is also the lowest figure since the week to September 24, when the estimate stood at one in 470.

How have case rates changed across the country?

Rates of Covid-19 cases have decreased slightly in all regions of England, Public Health England data showed.

Yorkshire and the Humber recorded the highest rate in the week to March 28, with 109.1 cases per 100,000 people, down slightly week-on-week from 112.2.

The East Midlands had the next highest at 70.1, down from 78.4.

South-west England had the lowest rate with 28.4, broadly unchanged week-on-week from 29.0.

As national case rates continue to fall, the Prime Minister addressed the prospect of international travel. On Friday, he said there will “definitely” be a role of Covid vaccine passports when it comes to holidaying abroad.

The government is currently undertaking a review to establish how vaccine certification could be used both domestically and abroad.Despite the UK's vaccine rollout being successful, health experts said on Friday that the effectiveness of the country's Test and Trace system is "limited".

Fewer than one in five people request a Covid-19 test if they have symptoms, a study found. Credit: PA

A large study examining system found that fewer than one in five people request a Covid-19 test if they have symptoms. It also discovered that adherence to self-isolation is low. Specialists, including from the Public Health England (PHE) behavioural science team at Porton Down in Wiltshire, found that only half of people could identify the main coronavirus symptoms, which include a cough, high temperature and loss of taste or smell.

Meanwhile, another report published on Friday found that an estimated 1.1 million people in private households in the UK reported symptoms of long Covid.Almost one in seven people who test positive for Covid-19 are still suffering symptoms at least three months later, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Of these people, an estimated 697,000 first had Covid-19 – or suspected they had Covid-19 – at least 12 weeks before.