Explore by topic

Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections


COVID-19 infections increased in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland in the latest week (ending 18 June 2022 for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and ending 17 June 2022 for Scotland).

The estimated percentage of the community population that had COVID-19 was:

  • 2.50% in England (1 in 40 people) 

  • 2.25% in Wales (1 in 45 people) 

  • 3.26% in Northern Ireland (1 in 30 people) 

  • 4.76% in Scotland (1 in 20 people)

An estimated 2.0 million people in private households (3.1% of the population) were experiencing self-reported long COVID as of 1 May 2022.

On this page

Infections

COVID-19 infections increased across the UK

Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs, UK, 20 June 2021 to 18 June 2022

Embed code

Download the data

The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 increased in England (2.50%), Wales (2.25%), Northern Ireland (3.26%) and Scotland (4.76%) in the latest week (ending 18 June 2022 for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and ending 17 June 2022 for Scotland). These increases were likely caused by infections compatible with Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5.

Last updated: 24/06/2022

Read more about this in our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey bulletin

🠕 Back to the top

COVID-19 infections compatible with Omicron variants BA.1, BA.4 and BA.5 increased across the UK

Modelled daily percentage of the population testing positive for COVID-19 on nose and throat swabs compatible with Omicron BA.1, BA.4 and BA.5 variants and the Omicron BA.2 variant, UK, 7 May to 18 June 2022

Embed code

Download the data

Infections compatible with Omicron variants BA.1, BA.4 and BA.5 increased across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland in the latest week (ending 18 June 2022 for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and ending 17 June 2022 for Scotland). Infections compatible with Omicron variant BA.2 decreased in England and Wales, increased in Northern Ireland and the trend was uncertain in Scotland in the latest week.

Not all cases that are categorised as Omicron BA.1, BA.4, BA.5 or BA.2-compatible will be those variants. However, the majority of cases labelled compatible with BA.1, BA.4 and BA.5 are likely to be BA.4 and BA.5 infections.

Last updated: 24/06/2022

Read more about this in our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey bulletin

🠕 Back to the top

Large increase seen in re-infection rates since Omicron variants became most common

The risk of re-infection was around seven times higher in the period when the Omicron variants were most common (20 December 2021 onwards), compared with the period when the Delta variant was most common (17 May to 19 December 2021).

Between 2 July 2020 and 4 June 2022, people were more likely to be re-infected if they:

  • were unvaccinated 

  • had a "milder" primary infection with a lower viral load 

  • did not report symptoms with their first infection 

  • were younger

Last updated: 22/06/2022

Read more about this in our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK: characteristics of people testing positive for COVID-19, 22 June 2022 bulletin

🠕 Back to the top

At least half of all people in each UK country have had COVID-19 since the survey began

Estimated cumulative percentage of the population who have tested positive for COVID-19 during the survey period by country, UK, 27 April 2020 to 11 February 2022

Embed code

Download the data

Since the start of the Coronavirus Infection Survey, the percentage of each UK country's population that has had COVID-19 was:  

  • 70.7% in England (27 April 2020 to 11 February 2022) 

  • 56.0% in Wales (30 June 2020 to 11 February 2022) 

  • 72.2% in Northern Ireland (27 July 2020 to 11 February 2022) 

  • 51.5% in Scotland (22 September 2020 to 11 February 2022) 

Across all four UK countries, the percentage of the population that has had COVID-19 since the start of the survey increased at varying rates up to February 2022. 

Last updated: 22/04/2022

Read more about this in our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey technical article: cumulative incidence of the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19

🠕 Back to the top

Infections by age

COVID-19 infections increased in all age groups in England

Modelled daily percentage of the population testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs, by age group, England, 8 May to 18 June 2022

Embed code

Download the data

The positivity rate increased in all age groups in England in the week ending 18 June 2022. Infections were lower in those aged 2 years to school Year 6 and school Year 7 to 11, and higher in adult age groups.

Last updated: 24/06/2022

Read more about this in our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey bulletin

🠕 Back to the top

COVID-19 infections by single year of age over time for each UK country

Modelled daily percentage of the population testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs, by single year of age, UK, 7 May to 18 June 2022

Embed code

Download the data

This chart shows the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 by single year of age from 8 May to 18 June 2022 for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and from 7 May to 17 June 2022 for Scotland. The method used to generate these data differs slightly from positivity estimates for age groups, so they are not comparable.

Last updated: 24/06/2022

Read more about this in our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey bulletin

🠕 Back to the top

Infections by region

COVID-19 infections increased in most English regions

Modelled daily percentage of the population testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs by region, England, 8 May to 18 June 2022

Embed code

Download the data

The percentage of people testing positive increased in all English regions except the North East and South East, where the trend was uncertain, in the week ending 18 June 2022. The positivity rate was highest in London (2.91%) and lowest in the North East (2.24%).

Infections compatible with Omicron variants BA.1, BA.4 and BA.5 increased across all English regions in the week ending 18 June 2022.

Last updated: 24/06/2022

Read more about this in our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey bulletin

🠕 Back to the top

COVID-19 infections varied across UK sub-regions

Modelled percentage of the population testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs, by sub-regional geography, UK, 11 June to 18 June 2022

Embed code

Download the data

The percentage testing positive for COVID-19 varied across sub-regions of the UK. To see local infection rates, select an area on the interactive map.

Last updated: 24/06/2022

Read more about this in our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey bulletin

🠕 Back to the top

Symptoms

Percentage of people testing positive who reported symptoms compatible with COVID-19 decreased

Unweighted percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus with symptoms, including only those who have strong positive tests (Ct less than 30) by month, UK, 1 December 2020 to 31 May 2022

Embed code

Download the data

In May 2022, three in five people (60%) in the UK testing positive for COVID-19 reported any symptoms compatible with COVID-19. This was a decrease from 67% in April 2022. This may be because of a decrease in overall positive infections between April and May 2022. As positivity declines, more of the positive cases identified in the survey are towards the end of their infection, and therefore may be less likely to report symptoms.

The percentage of people testing positive who reported a sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache and myalgia, decreased between April and May 2022.

The percentage of people reporting loss of taste or loss of smell remains at a low level in May 2022, after decreasing sharply between December 2021 and January 2022. This change coincided with increasing infections with the Omicron variants of COVID-19.

Last updated: 22/06/2022

Read more about this in our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK: characteristics of people testing positive for COVID-19, 22 June 2022 bulletin

🠕 Back to the top

Long COVID in schools

Nearly 1 in 50 (1.8%) primary school pupils and nearly 1 in 20 (4.8%) secondary school pupils in Years 7 to 13 met the criteria for long COVID following their most recent COVID-19 infection. These percentages have almost doubled since November to December 2021, from 1.0% of primary school pupils and 2.7% of secondary school pupils, however this difference is not significant and may be because of an increase in COVID-19 infections.

Of primary school pupils who were believed to have had COVID-19, 5.1% experienced ongoing symptoms for 12 or more weeks, with 75.6% of those reporting having their daily life affected in some way.

Of secondary school pupils in Years 7 to 13 who were believed to have had COVID-19, 12.4% experienced ongoing symptoms for 12 or more weeks, with 71.9% of those reporting having their daily life affected in some way. The most common aspect of daily life reported to be affected was the ability to stay physically active (58.8%).

Last updated: 15/06/2022

Read more about this in our COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey, England: long COVID and mental health, March 2022 bulletin

🠕 Back to the top

Secondary school pupils in Years 7 to 11 who had a positive COVID-19 test at some point since March 2020 were more likely to have experienced systemic symptoms (fever or high temperature), loss of taste and smell and cardiovascular symptoms for 12 weeks or more (22.1%, 10.3% and 8.5%, respectively) than pupils who had not had a positive COVID-19 test (14.4%, 1.5% and 4.5%, respectively).

Similarly in primary school pupils, cardiovascular symptoms and loss of taste and smell for 12 weeks or more were more common for those who had a positive COVID-19 test since March 2020 (4.8 and 3.1%, respectively) than those who had not had a positive COVID-19 test (1.2% and 0.1%, respectively).

Last updated: 15/06/2022

Read more about this in our COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey, England: long COVID and mental health, March 2022 bulletin

🠕 Back to the top

Secondary school pupils (Years 7 to 13) who had experienced long COVID following their most recent infection were significantly more likely to have at least one probable mental disorder (28.1%) than those who had not (12.3%).

Among primary school pupils, 18.9% of those who had experienced long COVID had a probable mental health disorder, compared with 11.3% of pupils who had not. However, this difference was not statistically significant.

This analysis does not measure mental health status before having COVID-19 so it cannot show cause and effect.

Last updated: 15/06/2022

Read more about this in our COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey, England: long COVID and mental health, March 2022 bulletin

🠕 Back to the top

Over half (52.5%) of secondary school pupils in Years 7 to 13 who had experienced long COVID following their most recent COVID-19 infection thought they were fat even when told they were very thin. This proportion was lower for those who had not experienced long COVID (36.8%). Nearly one in five (19.2%) of those pupils who had experienced long COVID reported making themselves vomit deliberately.

This analysis does not measure eating behaviours before having COVID-19 so it cannot show cause and effect.

Last updated: 15/06/2022

Read more about this in our COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey, England: physical activity and eating behaviours, March 2022 bulletin

🠕 Back to the top

Long COVID

An estimated 2.0 million people in private households (3.1% of the population) were experiencing self-reported long COVID as of 1 May 2022. Of those, almost three-quarters (72%) reported experiencing long COVID symptoms at least 12 weeks after first having (suspected) COVID-19, over 4 in 10 (42%) at least one year after their first (suspected) infection, and around 2 in 10 (19%) at least two years after their first (suspected) infection.

Fatigue (55%), shortness of breath (32%), a cough (23%) and muscle ache (23%) were the most common long COVID symptoms. Symptoms adversely affected the day-to-day activities of 1.4 million people (71% of those with self-reported long COVID).

Self-reported long COVID was more common in those aged 35 to 69 years, females, people living in more deprived areas, those working in social care, teaching and education, or health care, and those with another activity-limiting health condition or disability.  

Last updated: 01/06/2022  

Read more about this in our Prevalence of ongoing symptoms following coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the UK bulletin

🠕 Back to the top

Self-reported long COVID was almost twice as common after Delta infections than after Omicron BA.1 infections in double-vaccinated people

Adjusted percentage of adults aged 18 years and older with self-reported long COVID four to eight weeks after a first COVID-19 infection, stratified by compatible COVID-19 variant and vaccination status when infected, UK, 17 May 2021 to 16 April 2022

Embed code

Download the data

Among double-vaccinated adults: 

  • self-reported long COVID was more common four to eight weeks after infections compatible with the Delta variant (15.9%) than after infections compatible with the Omicron BA.1 variant (8.7%) 

Among triple-vaccinated adults: 

  • self-reported long COVID was more common after infections compatible with Omicron BA.2 (9.3%) than for Omicron BA.1 (7.8%) 

  • there was no statistical evidence of a difference in the prevalence of long COVID between infections compatible with the Delta variant and either Omicron BA.1 or BA.2 

Last updated: 06/05/2022

Read more about this in our Self-reported long COVID after infection with the Omicron variant bulletin

🠕 Back to the top

Infections by characteristic

Those who travelled abroad in the previous 28 days continued to be more likely to test positive for COVID-19

People were more likely to test positive for COVID-19 in the two weeks up to 7 May 2022 if they:

  • had not previously been infected with COVID-19 

  • travelled abroad in the previous 28 days

  • had been living in a household with two or three people rather than living alone

  • were male 

  • had not had contact with hospitals 

  • used lateral flow tests regularly (this is likely related to those at a higher risk of infection being encouraged to take regular lateral flow tests)

  • had not been living with a child aged 16 years or under 

  • spent more time socialising outside their home

  • worked in the hospitality sector rather than another sector

You can read about the impact of vaccination on the likelihood of testing positive on our Vaccines page.

Last updated: 25/05/2022

Read more about this in our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK: characteristics of people testing positive for COVID-19, 25 May 2022 bulletin

🠕 Back to the top

Further information


The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey (CIS) and REACT study both track COVID-19 infections in the community, excluding people in hospitals, care homes and other institutional settings. They test randomly selected individuals that might or might not be experiencing symptoms. Their positivity rates are modelled estimates adjusted to represent the population. NHS Test and Trace data refer to people tested because of specific reasons. These might include people experiencing symptoms, being in contact with a known case or employer referral. NHS Test and Trace data includes new cases in the community, hospitals and care homes.

To find out more about infections data from different sources visit our more information page.

🠕 Back to the top


Embed code

Contact

Latest insights team
infection.survey.analysis@ons.gov.uk