Covid infection levels in England have hit the highest level since July and are getting close to the peak seen at the height of the second wave, data shows.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that infections are mostly being driven by rates among school children, with around one in 10 pupils in Years 7 to 11 estimated to have Covid-19 last week.
While youngsters have the highest positivity rate for any age group, rates have also increased among people aged 50 to 69, and the over 70s. There are also early signs of a possible increase among people from school Year 12 to age 24.
One in 60 people in private households in England had Covid-19 in the week to 9 October, which is the equivalent of around 890,000 people.
In Scotland, the figure is around one in 80 people, in Wales one in 45 people are infected, and in Northern Ireland, the latest estimate is one in 120.
While Covid-19 rates are high, infections are not currently leading to the same level of hospital admissions and deaths as during the second wave, thanks to the vaccination rollout.
NHS England has said more than three million booster doses have now been given over the last four weeks, with two in five people aged 50 and over who are eligible coming forward for their jab.
However, England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has warned that this winter will be “exceptionally difficult” and stressed that the months ahead will be tough for the NHS, as it battles with Covid-19, flu and other seasonal viruses.
While the vaccine rollout has been hugely successful, there are still parts of the country that are lagging behind, with many people still yet to receive at least one dose. Analysis of figures from the UK Government Covid dashboard and Public Health Scotland reveal the areas with the lowest jab uptake so far among ages 12 and over as of 13 October, based on the latest ONS population estimates. Images are for illustrative purposes.