The number of people with Covid-19 in England fell by 31 per cent in a week, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Its infection survey estimates that 481,300 people living in the community in England had Covid-19 in the week ending February 12, down from 695,400 a week earlier.

Government estimates of the R number — a measure of transmission based on how many people each infected person will pass the virus on to — remained below one for the UK as a whole, indicating a shrinking outbreak.

The 31 per cent fall is almost twice the size of other falls in recent weeks, and brings numbers back to levels similar to early December.

The ONS also recorded falls in Wales, Northern

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