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While many European countries are seeing steep rises in coronavirus cases and preparing to step up Covid restrictions, the UK is currently going in the other direction.

Experts say it is tricky to explain the trends, but immunity from vaccines and past infections may be part of it.

Until recently, the UK had been seeing the highest rates of cases and deaths in Europe.

In recent weeks these have been falling in Britain.

According to the latest daily figures, 42,408 people have Covid in the UK.

That's down around 12% over the last seven days.

In terms of daily cases per million people, the UK is running at around 500, while Austria has more than double this.

Cases in countries such as Germany may be lower, but they are rising.

  • Germany sees record number of Covid cases
  • Austria heading for lockdown for unvaccinated

Other estimates of Covid from the Office of National Statistics, based on Covid tests done by households, suggest that nearly 1.1 million people in the UK would test positive for coronavirus in the week ending 6 November.

That's 1.7% of the population – or one in 60 people – down from nearly 2% last week.

According to the ONS:

  • One-in-60 people in England have Covid, which is a fall from the estimated one-in-50 the week before
  • In Wales, it is one-in-45, down from one-in-40 the previous week
  • In Northern Ireland, it is one-in-75 versus one-in-65 the previous week
  • In Scotland, it is one-in-85 versus one-in-80 the week before

Sarah Crofts from the ONS said rates across the UK remained high overall, but cases had been coming down among secondary school children in England.

"The half-term break may have played a part, though infections were decreasing prior to this time. Over the next few weeks we will see if this decline continues."