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Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections


In the week ending 17 July 2021, the estimated percentage of the community population that had COVID-19 was: 

  • 1.36% in England (1 in 75 people) 

  • 0.47% in Wales (1 in 210 people) 

  • 0.59% in Northern Ireland (1 in 170 people) 

  • 1.24% in Scotland (1 in 80 people) 

Cases that are compatible with the Delta variant continued to increase in England and increased in Northern Ireland and Wales in the latest week.

You can read more about different coronavirus variants on the more information page and our recent blog.

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Symptoms

The majority of people testing positive for COVID-19 reported symptoms in July 2021

Percentage of people with symptoms, including only those who have strong positive tests (Ct less than 30) by month, UK, 1 December 2020 to 12 July 2021

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In the UK, 61% of people testing positive for COVID-19 reported symptoms in July 2021. Symptoms reported were more likely to be "classic" symptoms than gastrointestinal or loss of taste or smell only. The prevalence of “classic” and any symptoms was higher in June and July, and January and February, compared with March and April. The most commonly reported symptoms have consistently been cough, fatigue and headache.

Last updated: 28/07/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, characteristics of people testing positive for COVID-19

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Infections

The percentage of people testing positive continued to increase in England and increased in Wales and Northern Ireland

Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs from 27 April 2020 to 17 July 2021

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The percentage of people testing positive continued to increase in England (1.36%) in the week ending 17 July 2021. The positivity rate increased in the latest week in Wales (0.47%) and Northern Ireland (0.59%). In Scotland the positivity rate (1.24%) increased in the two weeks up to 17 July, but the trend is uncertain in the most recent week.

Last updated: 23/07/2021

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

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New daily COVID-19 cases estimated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey and reported by NHS Test and Trace follow similar trends over time

Number of new positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, by specimen date, from Pillars 1 and 2 and estimated numbers of new PCR-positive COVID-19 cases, 14 June 2020 to 3 July 2021, England

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New daily COVID-19 cases estimated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey (CIS) and reported by NHS Test and Trace show similar trends over time. CIS incidence may be higher as it aims to estimate all new cases in the community population, whereas NHS Test and Trace data are influenced by how many people are tested and why. This will depend on multiple factors such as the testing capacity or reasons for which people get tested (for example, having symptoms).

You can read more about the differences between CIS and Test and Trace data in our comparative article.

Last updated: 23/07/2021

Read more about this on the GOV.UK coronavirus dashboard

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey and Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission study show similar trends over time

Estimated percentage of the community population testing positive for COVID-19, 27 April 2020 to 17 July 2021, England

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The Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT) and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey (CIS) show similar trends over time.

CIS and REACT both estimate how many infections there are in the community, although they use different methods and publish data covering different time periods.

Last updated: 23/07/2021

Read more about this in Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT) study

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Individuals reinfected with COVID-19 had a lower viral load with the second infection

For individuals infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) for a second time, average viral load was lower compared with the first infection. This suggests most of these individuals may have had a stronger immune response to the initial infection, which helped them respond to the reinfection more effectively. However, the number of reinfections was low overall.

For more a more detailed explanation of reinfection, the methods used and previous results, read our technical article.

Last updated: 28/07/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, characteristics of people testing positive for COVID-19

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Infections by age

Positivity rates increased in most age groups

Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for COVID-19 on nose and throat swabs, daily, by age group from 6 June to 17 July 2021, England

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The percentage of people testing positive increased in all age groups in the most recent week (ending 17 July 2021), except for those in school Year 7 to school Year 11 where the trend is uncertain.

Last updated: 23/07/2021

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

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The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 by single year of age over time for the four UK countries

Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs, daily, by single year of age from 6 June to 17 July 2021, UK

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This graphic shows the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 by single year of age (6 June to 17 July 2021). The method used to generate these data differs slightly from positivity estimates for age groups, so they are not comparable.

Last updated: 23/07/2021

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

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The percentage of secondary school pupils testing positive for COVID-19 was lower in May 2021 than in autumn 2020

Percentage of pupils testing positive for current COVID-19 infection in primary and secondary schools, 3 to 20 November 2020 (Round 1), 30 November to 11 December 2020 (Round 2), 15 to 31 March 2021 (Round 4) and 5 to 21 May 2021 (Round 5), England

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The percentage of secondary school pupils testing positive in Round 5 was significantly lower in May 2021 than in the autumn term 2020. Of the 142 schools tested in Round 5, 131 (92%) returned no positive cases. The majority of positive cases were compatible with the Alpha variant, suggesting that at the time of testing, the Delta variant was still concentrated in specific areas of the country that were not sampled. 

Round 3 of this survey was cancelled because of school closures. The number of positive test results in Round 4 from primary school pupils are too small to present. 

Last updated: 01/07/2021 

Read more about this in COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey Round 5, England: May 2021

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Infections by region

The percentage of people testing positive continued to increase in most English regions

Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for COVID-19 on nose and throat swabs, daily, by region from 6 June to 17 July 2021, England

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The percentage of people testing positive continued to increase in all English regions in the most recent week (ending 17 July 2021), except for the North East and North West where the trend is uncertain. However, caution should be taken in over-interpreting changes in the North East trend because of wide credible intervals and higher uncertainty.

Last updated: 23/07/2021

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

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The percentage testing positive varies across sub-regions of England, Northern Ireland and Scotland

Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs, by sub-regional geography, England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, from 11 to 17 July 2021

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

The latest week does not include sub-regional estimates for Wales because further quality assurance is required.

Last updated: 23/07/2021

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

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Long COVID

As of early June 2021, 1.5% of the population were experiencing self-reported long COVID

  • An estimated 962,000 people in private households in the UK (1.5%) were experiencing self-reported long COVID as of 6 June 2021. 

  • Of those reporting long COVID symptoms, 4 in 10 were experiencing these symptoms over a year after the first (suspected) infection. 

  • Symptoms adversely affected the day-to-day activities of around two-thirds of those with self-reported long COVID. 

  • Fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle ache and difficulty concentrating were the most common long COVID symptoms. 

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

Last updated: 01/07/2021 

Read more about this in Prevalence of ongoing symptoms following coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the UK: 1 July 2021

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Almost 6 in 10 (57%) of adults who may have experienced long COVID reported it had negatively affected their general well-being. Ability to exercise (39%) and work (30%, this was 38% among working adults only) were the next most common ways such adults reported long COVID was negatively affecting their life.

Adults with long COVID include those that have had a positive test for COVID-19 or believed they have had COVID-19 and responded either ‘yes’ or ‘not sure’ to the question ‘Have you experienced “long COVID”?’.

Last updated: 21/07/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus and the social impacts of ‘long COVID’ on people’s lives in Great Britain: 7 April to 13 June 2021

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All personal well-being levels were poorer among those who reported experiencing long COVID

Mean score

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Adults who reported they may have experienced long COVID had poorer personal well-being levels compared with those who had short COVID or not had COVID. This difference was greatest for anxiety levels, with 4.6 for those who had long COVID compared with 3.8 for those who had short COVID or not had COVID. Those experiencing long COVID also had lower mean life satisfaction, feeling that the things done in life are worthwhile, and happiness.

Those who had long COVID were also more likely to report being often or always lonely (10%) than those who had short COVID (6%) or not had COVID (6%).

Last updated: 21/07/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus and the social impacts of ‘long COVID’ on people’s lives in Great Britain: 7 April to 13 June 2021

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Further information


This page provides an overview of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, bringing together data from multiple sources. Each graphic provides a link to explore the topic further. See the more information page to read about different data sources used in the tool.

The tool is updated regularly when relevant data are published. This is typically at least twice a week, for example:

  • when weekly deaths registrations are published (usually on a Tuesday)

  • when results from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, and Opinions and Lifestyle Survey are published (usually on a Friday)

Daily updates on COVID-19 levels and vaccinations can be found on GOV.UK.

Some policy areas are devolved and more information is available for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

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Contact

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