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14 AUG

Coronavirus infections in England have ‘levelled off’ after July increase

Coronavirus infections in England have levelled off after increasing in July, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says.

An estimated 28,300 people in private households in England had COVID-19 between August 3 and 9, the organisation found.

This was the equivalent of about 0.05% of the population, or one in 1,900 individuals.

Image: The UK's R number remains the same as last week

The estimate is unchanged from the previous week of 27 July to 2 August.

The figures do not include people staying in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings.

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The ONS said that while recent figures had suggested the percentage of individuals testing positive for COVID-19 in households in England had risen slightly in July, this trend now appears to have stopped growing.

"There is some evidence of a small increase in the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 in July, following a low point in June, but this appears to have now levelled off," the ONS reported in its weekly infection survey.

It comes as the R rate – which measures the average number of people someone with the virus passes it on to – remained the same.

It is still between 0.8 and 1, the UK government confirmed in its weekly review.

However the daily growth rate has slightly increased from -5% to between -4% and -1%. The area which has the highest growth rate is southwest England, where it is between -5% and 1%.

Tighter restrictions imposed on parts of Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Leicester will also continue until at least early next week.

Boris Johnson announced lockdown measures for bowling alleys, casinos, skating rinks and beauty salons were being eased in England on Friday.

The changes were originally planned for 1 August but were put on hold because the prime minister said case numbers were "creeping up".

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