Which regions have highest Covid infection rates? How England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland compare
The latest data published by the Office for National Statistics shows the areas of the UK with the highest Covid-19 infection rates.
Covid-19 levels are rising in most parts of the UK, in the latest sign a new wave of the virus may be under way.
Infections have increased in England, Wales and Scotland, though Northern Ireland is continuing to see a fall. The latest figures cover the seven days ending on 7 February this year.
Most age groups in England have seen a jump in the prevalence of coronavirus, with rates highest among secondary school-age children. Health experts warned of a “steady rise” in Covid-19 hospital admissions and urged people not to be complacent.
The figures come from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) weekly infection survey and it shows that a total of 1.2 million people in private households in the UK were likely to have Covid-19 in the week to 7 February.
Of the four devolved nations, coronavirus infections were highest in England with 1.88% of the population testing positive. In Scotland the rate was 1.83% while 1.5% of the population tested positive in Wales and 1.27% in Northern Ireland.
Covid-19 in the UK: 14 areas in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales with highest infection rates
It is the second week in a row the UK-wide total has increased and comes after a steady drop in levels throughout January. A surge in the virus in the run-up to Christmas saw infections peak at three million at the end of December, though this was well below the figures seen in previous waves, including in spring 2022 when the weekly total climbed to a record 4.9 million.
Around one in 55 people in England is estimated to have the virus, up from one in 65 the previous week. The virus is least prevalent in Northern Ireland, at one in 80 people – the lowest estimate for the nation since September 2022. For Scotland, the estimate is one in 55, up from one in 65, while for Wales it is one in 65, up from one in 85. The ONS infection survey is the most reliable measure of the prevalence of coronavirus and is based on a sample of swab tests from households across the country.
In the survey, infection rates are broken down by region - meaning you can check how many people near you have brought the virus. Here’s a breakdown of each region, ranked from the highest to lowest infection rate.