COVID cases down 70% since New Year peak

February 5, 2021

According to the ZOE COVID Symptom Study UK Infection Survey figures, there are currently 20,360 daily new symptomatic cases of COVID in the UK on average, based on swab tests data from up to five days ago [*]. This compares to 28,645  daily new symptomatic cases a week ago, a decrease of 29%. Since the peak of 69,000 daily new cases around the 1st January, cases have fallen by 70%. (Full table of regional results below). In terms of prevalence, on average 1 in 170 people in the UK currently have symptomatic COVID.

Other key findings from ZOE COVID Symptom Study UK Infection Survey this week: 

  • The UK R value is 0.9
  • Regional R values are: England, 0.9, Wales, 0.9, Scotland, 0.9 
  • Daily new cases are still falling in all regions of the UK and the R values of 0.9 remain
  • The R value is highest in the East Midlands with an R value of 1.0, all other regions are under 1.0 (full table of R values below)
  • Rates across regions are more similar than for many months. 
  • The highest risk areas in the UK are currently, Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (1 in 100), London (1 in 102) and Liverpool City Region (1 in 122) (full tables of results below)
  • Cases are coming down in all age groups (see graph below)

The ZOE COVID Symptom Study UK Infection Survey figures are based on around one million weekly reporters and the proportion of newly symptomatic users who have positive swab tests. The latest survey figures were based on data from 15,286 recent swab tests done between 17 to 31 January 2021.

Tim Spector OBE, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app and Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, comments on the latest data:
“We are making good progress against this virus, with 10 million vaccinations done and cases down by 70% since the peak at the beginning of the year. On top of that, we are also seeing hospital admissions from COVID drop too. But it’s not the time for hesitancy. We’re now at the same levels of new cases we were when we came out of lockdown at the end of November, with the difference being our NHS is overstretched and death rates are still high. Importantly, we still need to give the vaccines a few more weeks to take effect and drive cases lower. If as hoped these trends continue, I believe we should now be looking at getting children back into the classrooms sooner, so vaccinating teachers would be my next priority.”


Worst affected region in England:


Incidence / Daily new symptomatic cases regional breakdown [*] 


The ZOE COVID Symptom Study UK Infection Survey results over time for the UK

Table of R Values

Map of UK prevalence figures

Estimated rate of people with Symptomatic COVID across age groups


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