COVID cases in England and Wales have risen for the first time in two months – marking an end to a steady decline since early July.
The rise means the total number of infections in the UK has also risen, but levels are estimated to have fallen in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Around 927,900 people in private households across the country are likely to have tested positive for coronavirus in the week ending September 14, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
That’s up 5% from 881,200 the week before.
Infections across the UK had been steadily falling since early July, when the total hit 3.8 million at the peak of the wave caused by the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the virus.
The number of people in the hospital with COVID has also shown early signs of an increase.
However, Deputy Director of the ONS COVID Infection Survey Sarah Crofts has warned that it is “too early” to tell if the trends will continue.
“We will monitor the data closely to see any impact of the return of schools over the coming weeks,” she said.
Where have the number of cases increased and decreased?
In England, the percentage of people who tested positive was 766,500, or about one in 70 – up from 705,800, or one in 75, the week before.
Infections are estimated to have increased in North East England, London, the West Midlands and Yorkshire and The Humber, while they have fallen in South East England.
Wales has also seen a rise, with the latest estimate for infections at 39,700, or one in 75 people, up from 28,200, or one in 110.
In Scotland, 98,800 people were likely to have COVID-19 in the latest survey, or about one in 55 – down from 113,500, or one in 45.
In Northern Ireland, the estimate is 22,900, or one in 80 people, down from 33,700, or one in 55.
Which age groups are most affected?
Among age groups in England, the percentage of people getting coronavirus is estimated to have increased for children in Year 7 to Year 11 and for 25-34-year-olds.
In all other groups, the trend was again described as uncertain.
However, the rates were lowest among children between two and 11 years of age.
The highest number of infections is seen among 50 to 69-year-olds.
A fresh booster dose of vaccine is currently available to anyone aged 65 and over, provided they had their last jab at least three months ago.
Doses are also available for frontline health and care workers, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.
A booster will eventually be offered to everyone aged 50 and over this autumn.