The proportion of people testing positive for Covid in the UK has continued to increase, new figures show, after the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron strains became the dominant form of the virus.
New data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the prevalence of Covid in some parts of the country is twice as high than in others.
In the week to June 18, the ONS estimated that 2.5 per cent of people in England had Covid (one in 40), as did 2.3 per cent in Wales (one in 45), 3.3 per cent in Northern Ireland (one in 30) and 4.8 per cent in Scotland (one in 20).
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The estimates are based on random PCR samples from private households across the UK. It excludes people living in communal housing such as care homes.
In Kirklees, it is estimated that 2.3 per cent of people had Covid (one in 45). This is up from 2.0 per cent (one in 50) the week before.
Covid rates have increased in all four nations over the last week.
A total of 1.7 million people were estimated to have the virus last week, up from 1.4 million the week before - a rise of 23 per cent.
The previous week there was a 43 per cent increase.
New data published by the Wellcome Sanger Institute shows BA.4 and BA.5 became the dominant Covid strains in England in the week to June 11.
Of the 953 positive PCR tests successfully analysed, 547 were found to be either BA.4 or BA.5, 57 per cent of the total.
In the previous week, they made up 42 per cent of cases.
BA.4 and BA.5 are sub variants of the Omicron variant, and were designated as "variants of concern" by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) in May.
They have been blamed for a new wave of infections in the UK, with hospital admissions also rising sharply in recent weeks.