One in 500 people in England and Wales likely have coronavirus, according to the latest estimates from the UK’s Office for National Statistics.
Friday’s report shows “clear evidence of an increase” in recent weeks, with a combined total of 123,000 cases reported from 18 to 24 September in both nations — equivalent to 0.21% of both populations.
The figure does not include people in care homes and hospitals.
In Northern Ireland, 1 in 400 people are estimated to have the virus.
Infection rates remain highest among teenagers and young adults, and is most prevalent in the north of England and some parts of London.
The latest UK-wide figures show 6,914 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours.