There has been an increase in the number of children testing positive for Covid-19 last week, new figures show.
As many as one in 900 people in private households had the virus between 4-10 September, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The estimated 59,8000 amounts to around 0.11 per cent of the population – an increase on the previous estimate of 0.07 per cent for August 30 to September 5.
New cases rose by around 6,000 per day in the week to 10 September, almost double the rate of the previous week, according to new official estimates that highlighted the north west and London as hot spots.
The latest modelled estimate, which is based on samples of the population, compares with 3,200 per day in last week’s report.
And the statistics body said there was “clear evidence of an increase in the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 aged two to 11 years”
The ONS said the latest estimate, which doesn’t include people staying in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings, “shows the number of infections has increased in recent weeks”.
As in previous weeks, the rise in cases is mainly from young people.
The statistical bulletin says “In recent weeks, there has been clear evidence of an increase in the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) aged 2 to 11 years, 17 to 24 years and 25 to 34 years.
“Smaller increases are also evident in those aged 35 to 49 years and 50 to 69 years.”
There is also evidence of higher infection rates in north-west England and in London.
It is likely that infection rates in all other regions have also increased, except in south-west England and the West Midlands, the ONS added.
The news comes after the announcement that tighter restrictions will come into force in Lancashire, Merseyside, parts of the Midlands and West Yorkshire after significant increases in Covid-19 cases, the government has said.
The new rules ban separate households from meeting each other at home or in private gardens.
Pubs and restaurants must also shut early in parts of Lancashire and Merseyside.
The measures will come into force from Tuesday.
Nearly 4.7 million people are to be affected by the new rules.