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The 9 areas of England where 1 in 20 people could have had COVID last week

Emily Cleary
·2-min read
A red road sign reminding people to maintain social distance seen in Liverpool, England in September 2020 during the Covid19 pandemic.
A road sign reminding people to maintain social distance in Liverpool, where it is thought up to one in 20 people were infected with coronavirus last week (Getty)

As many as one in 20 people in nine areas of England are estimated to have had COVID-19 between January 12 and 17, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

These areas are Rochdale, West Lancashire, Knowsley, Liverpool and Sefton in north-west England; and Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham, Newham and Croydon in London.

The figures are for those in private households and do not take into account hospitals or care homes.

The data comes from a report published on Friday which revealed that 1,023,700 people in England had COVID-19 between 10 and 16 January, the latest dates for which information is available.

This means about one in every 55 people was infected however, the figure is thought to be much higher in these specified areas.

London still has the highest positivity rate among English regions (2.89%), followed by the North East (2.49%). All nine areas fall within these two regions.

Watch: COVID infections decrease but remain high

The South West (1.22%) and Yorkshire and The Humber (1.18%) have the lowest proportions of people testing positive.

The latest R Rate estimate for the whole of the UK was estimated at between 0.8 and 1.0 on Friday, down from a range of 1.2 to 1.3 last week, meaning that on average, every ten people infected will infect between eight and ten other people.

The growth rate estimate for the UK is between -4% and -1%, according to the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). Last week it was estimated to be growing by +2% to +5%.

Coronairus infection rates were highest in London and the North West of England last week (ONS)
Coronairus infection rates were highest in London and the North West of England last week (ONS)

While a nationwide lockdown appears to be having an effect in slightly reducing the number of infections, the government is pleading with people to continue to follow the rules.

Read more

What you can and can't do under current lockdown rules

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On Thursday Priti Patel announced that anyone caught breaching lockdown rules and attending a gathering of more than 15 people would face a fine of £800 however, on Thursday evening police broke up a wedding attended by 400 people in north London.

Met Police officers said organisers of the wedding, held at Yesoday Hatorah Girls Senior School in Stamford Hill, covered the windows to stop people seeing in.

Many of the guests fled as officers raided the venue, but five people were handed £200 fixed penalty notices and the organiser could face a £10,000 fine.

Boris Johnson told a Downing Street press conference on Friday evening: “What we want to see is [the public] enforcing the rules, and obeying them.”

Watch: What you can and can't do during England's third national lockdown