The percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) increased in all UK countries in the week ending 18 June 2022 (17 June for Scotland).
The increase was likely caused by infections from Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5.
The estimated percentage of the community population (those not in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings) that had COVID-19 in the latest week was:
1,360,600 (1 in 40 people) in England
68,500 (1 in 45 people) in Wales
59,900 (1 in 30 people) in Northern Ireland
250,700 (1 in 20 people) in Scotland
Infections increased in the majority of English regions, and in all age groups in England.
The percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) increased across the UK
Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for COVID-19 on nose and throat swabs, 20 June 2021 to 18 June 2022
Around one-quarter of British adults still social distancing
Around one-quarter (27%) of adults in Great Britain reported always or often maintaining social distancing when meeting up with others outside their household.
When asked about other preventative measures against coronavirus (COVID-19) and other illnesses they had taken over the last seven days, three-quarters (75%) said they had always or often washed their hands immediately after returning home from a public place.
Around 4 in 10 (38%) said they had worn a face covering at some point when outside their home.
In general, almost one-third (32%) of adults said they were worried about the effect that COVID-19 was having on their lives, and around 4 in 10 (41%) were worried about new variants.
Overseas visits to the UK show signs of bouncing back
The number of visits to the UK in April 2022 was 27 times higher than in April the previous year, 2.1 million visits.
But those visits to the UK were still down significantly on pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels; a drop of 33% from 3.2 million in April 2019.
The UK had 2.1 million overseas visitors in April 2022
Provisional passenger traffic data also showed an increase in spending in the UK by overseas visitors. At £1.7 billion, it was 14 times greater than April 2021, when many travel restrictions were in place.
There was also an increase in the number of UK residents travelling overseas in April 2022, 20 times more than in April 2021.
They made 5.6 million visits abroad, spending £4.1 billion. This is a 20-fold increase on April 2021.
The number of visits overseas by UK residents is yet to return to April 2019 levels. In April 2022, there were 5.6 million overseas visits, compared with 8.4 million in April 2019 – a drop of 33%.
COVID-19 fell to sixth most common cause of death in May
Coronavirus (COVID-19) was the sixth leading cause of death in England and Wales in May 2022, accounting for 3.3% of deaths in both countries. In April 2022, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death.
The most common cause of death in May 2022 was dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in England, and ischaemic heart disease in Wales.
Accounting for the population size and structure, the age-standardised mortality rate for deaths due to COVID-19 fell between April and May 2022, from 56.0 deaths per 100,000 people down to 31.3 in England, and from 58.4 deaths per 100,000 people down to 33.3 in Wales.
Mortality rates due to COVID-19 decreased between April and May 2022
Age-standardised mortality rates for deaths due to COVID-19, per 100,000 people, England and Wales, deaths registered in March 2020 to May 2022
Source: Office for National Statistics – Monthly mortality analysis
Overall, the number of deaths registered in May 2022 was above the five-year average in both England and Wales. There were 45,526 deaths from all causes registered in England, which was 15.6% above the five-year average. In Wales, there were 2,992 deaths registered, which was 12.4% above the five-year average.
Seven-fold increase in Omicron re-infection rates
The risk of re-infection from COVID-19 was around seven times higher in the period when the Omicron variants became most common.
Omicron variants became the most common from the 20 December 2021 onwards while the Delta variant was most common between 17 May and 19 December 2021.
More recently, between 2 July 2020 and 11 June 2022, people were more likely to be reinfected with COVID-19 if they:
- were unvaccinated
- had a “milder” primary infection with a lower viral load
- did not report symptoms with their first infection
- were younger
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey also revealed that the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 who reported loss of taste or smell remained at lower levels in May 2022, after decreasing sharply between December 2021 and January 2022 (when the Omicron variants became most common).
UK deaths involving COVID-19 rise
There were 334 deaths registered in the UK involving coronavirus (COVID-19) in the week ending 10 June 2022. This was 123 more than the previous week. However, registrations in the previous week were impacted by the bank holidays on 2 and 3 June.
There were 13,275 total deaths registered in the UK in the latest week, which is 17.1% above the five-year average.
Of the 284 deaths involving COVID-19 in England and Wales in the week ending 10 June 2022, 58.1% had the disease recorded as the underlying cause of death, consistent with the previous week.
Our data are based on deaths registered in England and Wales and include all deaths where “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)” was mentioned on the death certificate. Weekly figures are available by local authority and health board.