Earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government estimated fewer than 10,000 people were infected each day, up from an estimated number of over 100,000 at the height of the first wave.
“(At the top) we estimate through surveys that more than 100,000 people a day were catching the disease, but we only found around 6,000 and they tested positive,” he said. in an interview on Sky News.
“Now we estimate that less than 10,000 people per day contract the disease. It’s too high, but it’s still much lower than the peak.
Although testing capacity has increased significantly since the first wave, the system has nonetheless been put to the test, with many people reporting not being able to get tested or having had to travel long distances. Delays in obtaining results have also led to criticism of the system.
Public Health England said there were also 40 new deaths, up from 37 the day before. At the height of the pandemic, Britain was reporting more than 1,000 deaths a day.
Britain has the highest death toll from COVID-19 in Europe, at 41,902.
The restrictions cause an uproar in France
At the same time, France also reported a new record of daily coronavirus infections on Thursday, a day after the government announced new restrictions on bars and restaurants in major cities that sparked an uproar from residents. local politicians and business owners.
Figures from Public Health France showed 16,096 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, a record – even though experts advise that testing during the first wave of coronavirus in March-April did not captured only a fraction of the cases.
The centrist government of President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday announced a series of new measures to try to slow the spread of the disease, including the closure of all bars and restaurants in Marseille and earlier closing times in Paris and elsewhere.
Faced with criticism from the mayors of Paris and Marseille, legal challenges and calls from some bar owners to challenge the new ordinances, Prime Minister Jean Castex called for “responsibility”.
“What I don’t want is for us to go back to March,” he said, referring to one of the strictest national lockdowns in Europe in which the French had to fill out forms to leave. their home.
Castex also admitted that he did not download his own government’s StopCovid contact tracing app.
“Yes, I push the French to use it, but I do not do it”, he declared on the television of France 2, explaining that since he became Prime Minister in July, he crosses “unfortunately »Now the road with fewer people, in particular no longer taking the metro.