Covid: One in 15 people in England had coronavirus during Christmas week

The percentage of people testing positive continued to increase across all regions Credit: PA

Data suggests one in 15 people in England had Covid during the week of Christmas, from 25 December to 31, when the number of infections failed to plateau in the country.

The Office of National Statistics released their latest weekly statistics as the Omicron variant continues to dominate and the NHS struggles under the strain of staff absences.

How many people had Covid in each nation in the week ending December 31?

  • England- one in 15

  • Wales - one in 20

  • Scotland - one in 20

  • Northern Ireland - one in 25

Listen to the ITV News Covid podcast

Which area of England was worst hit?

England had the highest proportion of Covid infections out of all the nations in the UK.

Within England, the percentage of people testing positive continued to increase across all regions, the data suggests.

The ONS also estimated that the following proportion of each region were infected with Covid:

  • London - one in 10

  • North West - one in 15

  • West Midlands - one in 15

  • Yorkshire and The Humber - one in 15

  • East Midlands - one in 20

  • North East - one in 20

  • East of England - one in 20

  • South East - one in 20

  • South West - one in 30

In London, there were early signs in the last few days of 2021 that infections may have stopped increasing but the ONS noted it is too early to confirm this.Which age group was worst hit by Covid?

The percentage of people testing positive was highest in young adults - 8.4% tested positive.

While remaining the group with the lowest number of infections, cases among those aged 70 years and over have doubled to 2.23% in the latest week.

Infections ultimately increased across all age groups in England, but the ONS said there are some early signs of infections are no longer increasing among those in school Year 7 to school Year 11 and groups aged between 25 and 49 years.

What is the latest R rate?

The latest R rate estimate for England is 1.2 to 1.5 - meaning that, on average, every 10 people will infect 12 to 15 other people.

An R rate above one means there are more and more new cases every day.

Analysts estimate the number of new infections in England is growing between 3% to 6% every day.

But these estimates are from data two to three weeks ago, due to the delay between someone being infected, developing symptoms, and needing healthcare.

London was the region with the lowest R rate estimate in England - 0.9 to 1.2 - and its growth rate was -2% to 3%.

The regions with the highest rates were North East and Yorkshire, and the North West - with R rates between 1.3 to 1.6 and growth rates of 6% to 10%.