Scotland has the lowest number of Covid infections out of the four nations in the UK — but the rate is rising.

Around one person in 65 is thought to have had the virus in the week ending November 27, according to new analysis by the Office for national Statistics (ONS).

This is equivalent to about 83,000 people, and an increase from one in 70 the previous week, but below the September peak of one in 45.

The rise in cases, which is mirrored elsewhere in the UK, is not thought to be connected to the appearance of the new Omicron variant. 

In England around one in 60 people had the virus, up from one in 65 the previous week, while in Wales the number was one in 45 people, a rise from from one in 50.

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Infection levels in Wales hit one in 40 people in late October, the highest since estimates began in summer 2020.

In Northern Ireland, the latest estimate is also one in 45 people, up from one in 50 the previous week and slightly below the record high of one in 40 in mid-August.


All figures are for people in private households and do not include hospitals, care homes and other settings.

The proportion of people in England who were estimated to have coronavirus at the peak of the second wave in early January was one in 50.

This led to a surge in hospital admissions and deaths, along with a nationwide lockdown.

But the current wave of infections has so far not resulted in similar numbers of people becoming seriously ill, thanks to the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations.

The ONS said they had not yet identified any infections “compatible with the new Omicron variant”, but will continue to monitor their findings and will report estimates if Omicron becomes “more prevalent among the population”.

The number of Covid-19 infections in the UK, which is estimated every week by the ONS, is not the same as the number of new cases of coronavirus which are reported every day by the Government.

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The number of infections provides a snapshot of the prevalence of Covid-19 within the entire community population of the UK, and estimates the percentage of people who are likely to test positive for the virus at any one point in time – regardless of when they caught the virus, how long they have had it, and whether they have symptoms.

It is based on a sample of swab tests collected from households across the UK.


By contrast, the number of cases of Covid-19 reported each day by the Government includes only those people who have newly tested positive for the virus, and is therefore affected by how many people are coming forward for tests, or who are taking a test because they know they have coronavirus symptoms.

When estimating the level of Covid-19 infections among different age ranges in England, the ONS said rates have increased in the latest week for those aged two to school year 6 and among 35 to 49-year-olds.

Rates decreased for people aged 70 and over, while for all other age groups the trend in the most recent week was uncertain.

Rates were highest for those aged two to school year 6, at 4.3%.