Covid: UK regions with highest number of infections at end of September according to ONS - as cases rise
Where in the UK are Covid rates currently the highest? Here’s the latest data
Covid infection levels continued to rise across England at the end of September, with southern regions now catching up with the North, the latest official figures show.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that the percentage of people testing positive for Covid continued to increase in England, and increased in Northern Ireland, in the latest week – but the trends were uncertain in Wales and Scotland. Infections were previously rising fastest in northern and midland regions of England, after children returned to school, but the South West and South East have since climbed the rankings.
The figures are based on random PCR testing of people living in private households. The ONS study has been running throughout the pandemic and has not been affected by the end of free mass testing.
In England, the estimated number of people testing positive for Covid in the week ending 24 September was 1,105,400, equating to 2.03% of the population, or around 1 in 50 people. In Wales, the estimated number of people testing positive for Covid was 63,400, equating to 2.09% of the population, or around 1 in 50 people. The latest Welsh figures are for the week ending 26 September.
In Northern Ireland, the estimated number of people testing positive for Covid was 46,100, which is 2.51% of the population, or around 1 in 40 people, whereas in Scotland, the estimated number of people testing positive was 113,000, equating to 2.15% of the population, or around 1 in 45 people.
The positivity rate is the percentage of people who would have tested positive for Covid on a PCR test at a point in time.
But where in the UK are Covid rates currently the highest?
The latest regional data for England from the ONS only covers to the 21 September, and is based on the estimated number of people testing positive on that day, rather than a weekly average. We have matched these figures to the same day in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to reveal where Covid infection rates have been the highest.
The regions and devolved nations are ranked from high to low, based on the level of infection on 21 September.