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Mapped: Covid infections in your area as cases soar days before Christmas

Covid infections are on the rise in England and Scotland as travellers seek to reach loved ones for Christmas

Jabed Ahmed
Friday 22 December 2023 14:03 GMT
Simon Calder's Christmas travel chaos advice as Heathrow set for busiest day of year

Covid-19 infection rates are rising, with around one in 24 people in England and Scotland likely to have tested positive for coronavirus in mid-December, new figures show.

The latest figures suggest that 4.2% of people in private households in England and Scotland are likely to have tested positive for Covid-19 on December 13, the equivalent of around 2.5 million people, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Professor Steven Riley, UKHSA director-general for data and surveillance, said if you are showing symptoms of Covid-19, you should try to limit your contact with other people.

This comes as a blow to festive travellers who will be seeking to reach their loved ones for Christmas celebrations.

Friday 22 December is set to be the busiest-ever day in the festive season at major UK airports – with the following day seeing large crowds at rail stations, with all rail operators heavily booked in the coming days.

Motoring organisation RAC predicts that drivers will make 21 million Christmas getaway trips as festive motorists compete with regular commuters and truck drivers for road space amid chaotic queues on the UKs motorways.

The Independent has put together this interactive map which shows Covid infection rates across regions in England.

Darker areas on the map show the regions in England are Covid infection hotspots, and lighter areas show have the lowest prevalence of Covid infections.

London and the South East experiencing the highest regional rates of Covid infections, and have increased in every English region over the past two weeks.

Around 6.1% of people in private households in London are likely to have tested positive for the virus, with 4.8% for south-east England and 4.4% for eastern England.

The estimates for other regions are lower, with 3.8% for north-west England, 3.7% for south-west England, 3.6% for north-east England, and 3.4% for both the East and West Midlands and also Yorkshire & the Humber.

Separate figures published on Thursday by NHS England show the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 looks to be on an upwards trend.

The data has been published as part of the new winter Covid-19 infection study by the UK Health Security Agency, which will monitor prevalence of the virus for the next few months.

It is a smaller version of the UK-wide infection survey that ran for nearly three years and which tracked each wave of the virus on a weekly basis.

Professor Steven Riley, UKHSA director-general for data and surveillance, said: “At this time of year, the cold weather, shorter days and increased socialising mean that the potential for transmission of respiratory viruses like Covid-19 is particularly high.

“This, as well as the possible impact of new variants, means it’s not unexpected to see cases increasing.

“If you are showing symptoms of Covid-19 or other respiratory illnesses, you should try to limit your contact with other people as much as possible, especially those who are older or more vulnerable.”

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