Rise in Omicron-compatible cases of coronavirus

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 The percentage of cases compatible with the Omicron variant of coronavirus (COVID-19) increased in England and Scotland. There were also early signs of an increase in Omicron-compatible cases in Wales.
There are not yet enough data to provide an estimate for Omicron-compatible cases in Northern Ireland.

Overall trends in coronavirus infections in England, Wales and Scotland were uncertain in the week ending 11 December 2021. The percentage of people testing positive decreased in Northern Ireland in the most recent week.

The estimated number of people living in private households (not in hospitals, care homes and/or other communal establishments) that had COVID-19 in the most recent week was:

  • England – 936,000 people (1 in 60)
  • Wales – 56,200 people (1 in 55)
  • Northern Ireland – 37,100 people (1 in 50)
  • Scotland – 67,100 people (1 in 80)

Infections decreased in Northern Ireland, but trends were uncertain in England, Wales and Scotland

Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs, UK, 12 December 2020 to 11 December 2021

Fewer people with a booster report symptoms after COVID-19 contact

In late November, around 1 in 10 fully vaccinated people notified by NHS test and trace or via the app of contact with a positive case of COVID-19 subsequently tested positive for the virus.

Over half of those notified (56%) reported taking a PCR test since being contacted, and 37% said they took a lateral flow test.

Of those who received two doses of the vaccine, 19% developed symptoms, compared with 8% of those who had received two doses and the booster dose.

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The proportion of respondents that reported they were currently self-isolating was significantly lower in late November 2021 (6%) than in late October 2021 (15%).

Four in five plan to stay home if unwell over Christmas period

About 80% of adults in Great Britain are planning to stay at home if feeling unwell over the Christmas period. Otherwise, around two-thirds (63%) plan to visit friends and family in their homes and 48% plan to have friends and family visit their home, according to data collected between 1 and 12 December 2021.

The proportion of adults that reported wearing a face covering when outside their home increased from 84% (between 18 and 28 November) to 94%, following the announcement making face coverings mandatory in certain settings in England from 30 November 2021.

The latest data from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey also suggest that around half of adults (46%) have had two coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines and a booster. While 89% of those who have not received a booster said they would be very or fairly likely to if offered.

Prior to the recent approval of the mandatory use of COVID passes in some venues, fewer than 1 in 10 (8%) adults had been asked to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test in the past seven days (excluding for travel abroad).

Third jab reduces risk of positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test

16 December 2021

People who had received a third vaccine dose were less likely to test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) than those who had a second dose in the fortnight to 28 November 2021.

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Those who reported having had a third dose at least two weeks before had a reduced risk of testing positive compared with those who had had their second dose of AstraZeneca or a second Pfizer dose more than 90 days ago.

Third doses include booster vaccinations.

In the fortnight to 28 November 2021, those who had received at least one vaccine dose remained less likely to test positive for COVID-19 than those who were unvaccinated.

Those with at least one vaccine dose remained less likely to test positive for COVID-19 than those unvaccinated

Estimated likelihood of testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs by vaccination status and previous infection, UK, 15 to 28 November 2021

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