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UK logs average of just 27,500 Covid cases in last three days as infections plunge by 25% in a week

 

Britain recorded an average of just 27,500 Covid cases over the last three days, according to official figures that illustrate how the Omicron wave is still receding. 

UK Health Security Agency bosses logged 82,451 positive tests over the weekend.

Despite the tally being artificially high because it includes numbers registered on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, infections were still down by a quarter week-on-week. 

The Government no longer provides daily updates at the weekend as part of Boris Johnson’s strategy to live with Covid. 

Previously, UKHSA statisticians would update the UK’s Covid pandemic data page seven-days-a week.

Daily cases have consistently fallen week-after-week since the Omicron wave peaked and are now a fraction of the 200,000 confirmed daily infections at the worst of the wave.     

The change in data publishing has also led to artificially high number of in deaths recorded from the virus today, with 138 recorded over the weekend, compared to just 15 on last Monday.

However, when comparing Covid deaths in terms of seven-day-averages for each week, the number deaths within 28-days of a positive test is down 25.2 per cent. 

And Covid hospital admissions also fell 14.1 per cent to 1,112 on February 22, the latest date nationwide data is available for.

A significant share of Covid admissions and deaths are now not primarily caused by the virus — the effect of the milder but much more infectious variant.

Scotland and Wales inch closer to Covid freedom… four days after England axed ALL curbs

Scotland and Wales today edged closer to a pre-pandemic normal as vaccine passport and mask-wearing rules were relaxed.

The two nations are taking a much more cautious approach to easing Covid restrictions than England, where all legal curbs were ditched last week.

From today in Scotland, high school students and teachers are no longer required to keep face coverings on in classes — although they are still mandatory in corridors. 

The country’s Covid pass scheme has also been axed, removing the need to show proof of vaccination or negative test to go to nightclubs, concerts or football matches.

All remaining legal restrictions are set to end in Scotland on March 21, including mass contact tracing and masks in restaurants, pubs and other indoor venues.

The Scottish Government will ‘strongly recommending’ people continue to wear face coverings in crowded settings, however.  

Unlike England, Scotland does not plan to end the requirement to self-isolate after testing positive for Covid. 

Meanwhile, a gradual easing of Covid restrictions is also underway in Wales. 

From today, people do not legally need to wear face masks in cinemas, theatres, community centres, museums and gyms. 

But the mandate is still active in all retail settings, public transport and in hospitals and care homes.   

The Government’s daily Covid data also showed another 15,710 booster vaccines were dished out over the weekend, meaning 38.2million people have now had three doses. 

A total of 4,841 more first doses were also administered, which means total of 52.6million people have had at least one Covid jab in Britain, about 91.5 per cent of the eligible over-12 population.

And 10,606 second doses of Covid vaccines were given over the weekend, meaning 49million people are now double jabbed (85.2 per cent). 

The figures represent the first weekend of England’s post-Covid era, with the country no longer gripped by any of the pandemic restrictions used for two years. 

Self-isolation rules for the infected have been removed, masks are no longer necessary on public transport in London, and NHS hospitals are finally being told to lift visiting restrictions.

Meanwhile, Scotland and Wales today also edged closer to a pre-pandemic normal as vaccine passport and mask-wearing rules were relaxed.

The two nations have taken a much more cautious approach to easing Covid restrictions than England, which ditched all legal curbs last week. 

 From today in Scotland, high school students and teachers are no longer required to keep face coverings on in classes — although they are still mandatory in corridors. 

The country’s Covid pass scheme has also been axed, removing the need to show proof of vaccination or negative test to go to nightclubs, concerts or football matches.

All remaining legal restrictions are set to end in Scotland on March 21, including mass contact tracing and masks in restaurants, pubs and other indoor venues.

A similar easing of Covid restrictions is also underway in Wales.  

From today, people do not legally need to wear face masks in cinemas, theatres, community centres, museums and gyms. 

But the mandate is still active in all retail settings, public transport and in hospitals and care homes.     

The change to how pandemic data was would be published in Britain was unveiled by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) last week. 

Under the change infection, hospitalisation, death, vaccination and testing figures are no longer uploaded on Saturdays and Sundays, instead being lumped together with Monday’s figures. 

UKHSA have said they will keep the content and frequency of Covid reporting ‘under close review’ and ensure statistics are shared with ‘the appropriate level of quality and transparency’.

However, some Whitehall sources have claimed the daily figures could be ditched entirely by April. 

Some scientists and MPs have publicly called for the Government to abandon the Covid daily figure updates and instead release them every week, as is done for flu.