THE UK’S daily Covid cases have dropped by 15 per cent in one week.
Some 87,188 new infections were reported by the Government today, down on the 102,483 last Wednesday.
A further 213 deaths were also recorded, almost 10 per cent higher than the 194 on March 23.
Hospital data was not updated today, but stats provided up to March 26 suggest admissions are still increasing.
However, with the Covid case numbers coming down, it suggests that deaths and hospitalisations will follow suit.
Today the chief scientific adviser to the Government said Omicron cases may have peaked.
A version of the Omicron variant (BA.2) is dominant in the UK and driving infection numbers, being more transmissible than the strains that have come before.
Vulnerable people are being urged to come forward for their fourth dose (second booster shot) when invited by the NHS this spring.
It comes ahead of a major change in the way Covid is controlled in the UK.
From Friday, April 1, free Covid testing is being scrapped in England, with the other home nations following at a later date.
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The Government last night detailed exactly who will be able to get their hands on free tests moving forward.
It includes those most at risk of serious illness should they catch the bug, NHS and prison staff and adult social care workers.
Adults and children will still be encouraged to stay at home if they feel unwell with Covid.
While Brits were initially told to stay indoors “until they felt better”, the guidance will change on Friday to five days.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “As we learn to live with Covid as we’ve learned to live with other viruses like the flu, people should take a common sense approach.”
The chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, warned that a reduction in testing will lead to a “decrease in precautionary behaviours” which could drive up transmission of the virus.
He told MPs on the Science and Technology Committee: “We’ve got very high levels of infection at the moment, as indeed many other countries.
“I think the numbers of infections are beginning to turn so we may be quite close to, or at, the peak and it may start coming down shortly.
“But I expect to see further hospitalisations because of the lag time and further deaths with it, so that is the consequence of the high levels of infection rates.
“It’s not surprising that we were where we are now in terms of rates because behaviour is returning to normal.”
Government-funded infection surveys will continue to monitor the true scale of the outbreak as testing winds down.
The Office for National Statistics swabs thousands of random households across the country.
Last Friday, it estimated one in 16 Brits had Covid in the week prior.
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Sir Patrick said it was vital the UK stayed alert to detect new variants, and that controlling efforts can be ramped up fast should it be needed.