England overtakes Scotland as having highest rate of Covid-19 in UK

England has overtaken Scotland as having the highest rate of Covid-19 infections in the UK, the Office of National Statistics has said.

England's rate of Covid-19 infection is higher than Scotland's.

New figures published by the ONS’ weekly infection survey estimates around one in 80 people in Scotland had Covid-19 in the week ending July 17, compared with one in 75 in England.

This is another increase in the Covid-19 rate for Scotland, up from one in 90 last week and one in 100 the week before.

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However it is the first time England has had a higher rate of Covid-19 infection than Scotland since mid-June according to the same study.

English cases appear to have peaked in the week of the most recent ONS study with more than 50,000 positive cases recorded on July 17.

Scotland recorded 1,825 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, with 22 deaths.

A total of 58 people were in intensive care, and 488 people are in hospital with the virus.

It comes as Nicola Sturgeon announced new measures to allow for individuals to avoid self-isolation and continue to work in some limited situations as the pressure caused by the pandemic and high case numbers on supply chains and businesses bite.

The ONS study estimates that around 65,100 people in Scotland had Covid-19 in the last week, equivalent to around 1.24 per cent of the population.

In England this figure is 1.36 per cent, or 741,700 people.

Wales and Northern Ireland have much lower rates of Covid-19, with 0.47 per cent and 0.59 per cent of the population of those countries estimated to have Covid-19 last week.

The ONS state the trend for Scotland is “uncertain” in the most recent week, raising the possibility cases have plateaued or are beginning to drop.

The report states: “In Scotland, the percentage of people testing positive in the community has increased in the most recent two weeks up to 17 July 2021, however the trend is uncertain in the most recent week. The percentage testing positive in the community has continued to increase in England and increased in Wales and Northern Ireland in the most recent week.”

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