The UK’s latest coronavirus wave has peaked and is now falling, official figures show.
There were 501,629 positive tests recorded in the week ending March 31, a 17% drop from the week before.
Most council areas have also reported a fall in weekly case numbers, although 16 local authorities bucked the trend and reported a rise.
At a regional level, Northern Ireland saw the biggest fall in positive test results, with a drop of more than a third (36%) week-on-week.
Scotland still had the highest overall case rate in the week to March 31, with 1,071 cases per 100,000 residents - but this was a 24% fall from the week before.
The second highest rate was in South West England, with 980 cases per 100,000 residents.
The BA.2 wave has seen case rates hit the second highest level in the pandemic so far, after the Omicron wave of the past winter.
The high infection rates, and the resulting absences, are still causing disruption in schools and workplaces.
Hospitalisations remain at high levels across the UK, although they are lower than the numbers seen during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.
Dame Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: “The pandemic is not over and how the virus will develop over time remains uncertain. COVID still poses a real risk to many of us, particularly with high case rates and hospitalisations.”
Here are the 16 council areas across the UK which are bucking the trend, recording a rise in cases in the week to March 31, compared with the week before.