here may be an increase in Covid cases in September, an expert has warned.
Professor Steven Riley, from Imperial College London, said there could be another leap in the case of coronavirus in the autumn, when temperatures drop, schools return and people return to the office.
The warning comes as double-jabbed Brits do not have to isolate from Monday as new rules come into force, largely ending what has become known as the ping-pong.
Those who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be encouraged to take a PCR test, but it is not mandatory.
Close contacts will also be encouraged to wear a mask in enclosed spaces.
About 84.9% of people tested for Covid-19 in the UK in the week ending August 4 on a regional site, local website or mobile test device – a so-called “in-person” test – received their results within 24 hours.
That is a decrease from 89.3% the previous week.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson had promised that the results of all personal tests would be back within 24 hours by the end of June 2020.
He told the House of Commons on June 3 last year that he would have “all tests reversed within 24 hours before the end of June, except for post-test problems or insurmountable problems like that”.
Of the 161,719 people transferred to the Test and Trace system in the week to 4 August, 13.5% were not reached and therefore could not be asked to report recent close contacts.
This is a slight increase from 13.3% the previous week, but down from 14.4% in the week to 21 July.
Some 86.2% were reached in the past week, while 0.3% did not provide any communication details.
A total of 179,748 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the UK at least once a week until August 4, a 5% decrease from the previous week, according to the latest Test and Trace figures
This is the second consecutive fall of the week.
Probably a Covid rise in the fall, warns expert
Professor Steven Riley, from Imperial College London, has warned that there may be another increase in coronavirus cases this autumn.
Daily cases have been in the 20,000s this week after new infections rose to 50,000 in mid-July.
Professor Riley looked at why cases had fallen over the summer, and he mentioned being able to socialize outside as one of the most important possible factors.
He explained: “I think it is possible that it will remain stable or even fall through September and October, but I do not think that is the most likely outcome.
“Children who are not in school, many people do not go to the office to work and it is very easy to socialize outside, these things are currently to our advantage and will go against us when we move in in September and October .
“Even with the extra vaccination, there’s going to be some upward pressure, so I think there’s a fair chance the prevalence will start ticking again at some point during September.”
Professor Riley praised the vaccination rollout when asked about daily infections that dropped.
Earlier this summer, Health Secretary Sajid Javid predicted that cases could rise to 100,000 a day.
Nurses must be consulted for a 3% salary increase
Nurses must be consulted on the government’s decision to award NHS staff a pay rise of 3%.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said it will find out what its members in England and Wales think about the increase.
The hearing comes as RCN members take part in a “summer of action” with campaign events across the UK.
Ministers should consider relaxing the rules on self-isolation
Stormont’s ministers must consider easing the rules on self-isolation in Northern Ireland.
Ministers will examine a proposal to bring the rules into line with the rest of the UK, which means that people who are in contact with positive cases will no longer have to isolate for 10 days as long as they test negative and have both plugs of vaccines.
At Thursday’s executive meeting, ministers will also discuss whether to drop the use of face masks in primary schools.
New cases of Covid at Napier Barracks
Cases of Covid-19 have again been identified on a military barrack used to house asylum seekers, several months after a major outbreak in the camp.
The Home Office said a “small number” of infections have been found in the Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent.
Nearly 200 people at the site contracted coronavirus earlier this year, leading to allegations that health advice had been ignored.
More on waiting lists
Here is the whole story on waiting lists – and there is also some good news
The waiting list reaches a record high
The number of people in England waiting to start routine hospital treatment has risen to a record high.
A total of 5.45 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of June, according to figures from NHS England.
This is the highest number since records began in August 2007.
The number of people who had to wait more than 52 weeks to start treatment was 304,803 in June – down from 336,733 the previous month, but about six times the number from a year earlier, which was 50,536.
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