Covid infection rates increasing across much of UK as R number remains unchanged

Covid-19 rates have increased across the country, with the biggest relative growth in Scotland, the latest figures suggest.

Around one in 220 people in Scotland are estimated to have had coronavirus in the week to June 19 - the highest level since the week to February 19, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.

It is a significant increase from one in 600 in the previous week.

The results from the infection survey come as England's R number remains the same from last week at 1.2 to 1.4, according to the Department of Health.

A rate between 1.2 and 1.4 means that for every 10 people infected with Covid, between 12 and 14 others will catch the disease. It means that coronavirus cases are increasing.

With the R-rate increasing, so too are cases of Covid-19 across England.

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Around one in 440 people in private households in England had Covid in the week to June 19 – up from one in 520 in the previous week, according to the ONS.

This is the highest level since the week to April 3.

The ONS also found that a percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 is estimated to have increased in north-west and north-east England.

There are also early signs of an increase in eastern England and south-west England while the trend is uncertain for other regions, the ONS said.

Surge testing took place in Kilkeel last week after a number of cases of the Delta variant were identified Credit: Liam McBurney/PA

In many regions positivity rates are low, meaning trends are difficult to identify since they are affected by small changes in the number of people testing positive from week to week.

North-west England had the highest proportion of people of any region in England likely to test positive for coronavirus in the week to June 19 - with around one in 150.

South-east England had the lowest estimate: around one in 1,130.

For Wales and Northern Ireland, the ONS described the trend as "uncertain".

In Wales, around one in 830 people are estimated to have had Covid-19 in the week to June 19, up from one in 1,500 in the previous week.

In Northern Ireland the latest estimate is one in 720 people, down from one in 610 in the previous week.

The findings from the ONS comes as data from Public Health England revealed cases of the more transmissible Covid Delta variant have risen 46% in a week in the UK and now account for 95% of infections.