Covid in the UK: millions infections with virus over Christmas – how the regions and nations compare

Millions of people across the UK were estimated to have Covid-19 over Christmas - here’s how each region and nation compared.

Almost 3 million people had Covid over Christmas, with the proportion of people testing positive at least doubling in eight of the UK’s 13 regions and nations since the start of December.

New data out today (6 January) from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows around 1 in 20 people were estimated to have the disease in England in the week ending 28 December, equating to about 2,463,000 people. This represents 4.52% of the population, an increase from 2.20% in the last set of figures published by the ONS, which covered the week ending 9 December. The figures have been published as part of the ONS’ weekly Infection Survey which tests private households for the virus.

Wales and Scotland have both also seen an increase in infection rates. In the seven days to 28 December, an estimated 173,200 people were infected with Covid in Wales. The ONS estimates 5.70% of the Welsh population had Covid (around one in 18 people), an increase from 1.89% in the week ending 8 December.

In Scotland, the estimated number of people testing positive for Covid was 213,100, equating to 4.05% of the population, an increase from 2.49% in the week ending 8 December. Around 1 in 25 people in Scotland had the virus over the festive period.

In Northern Ireland, the estimated number of people testing positive was 118,100 in the seven days to 22 December, equating to 6.43% of the population (an increase from 2.02% in the week ending 7 December), or around 1 in 16 people.

The analysis comes on the back of additional data published yesterday (5 January) from the ONS which shows an estimated 2.1 million people in the UK were experiencing self-reported long Covid symptoms at the start of December, representing 3.3% of the population or around 1 in every 30 people.

Rising Covid and flu cases have been putting the NHS under great pressure, leading health bosses to urge people to stay at home if unwell and to wear face masks outdoors in a bid to minimise the spread of illness.

Here we reveal the UK regions and nations with the highest Covid infection rates.

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