LONDON, England: As predicted by experts, the number of people infected with Covid in England is no longer falling.
In the UK, the rate of infections has leveled off at 1 in 340 people, Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported on Friday.
Experts noted that the leveling off, as opposed to a continuing decline, might have been caused by the end of the nationwide lockdown.
“In England, the percentage of people testing positive for the coronavirus is likely to have leveled off in the week ending 20 March 2021,” the ONS said.
Of note, the rate of 1 in 340 people was unchanged from the previous week.
This marks the first time infection rates have not fallen in England since late January.
England’s third national lockdown began January 5.
Schools, however, opened on March 8.
England’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, said the leveling off of infection rates had been expected.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has created procedures in which, following a change in rules such as the end of the lockdown, four weeks are set aside to collect new data, followed by another weeks set aside to publicize the next step in returning life to normal.
It is believed that small changes will be announced next week to allow groups of six people to gather when outside. The updated regulation is to begin on March 29.
Also, on April 5 an announcement might be made allowing non-essential retailers to reopen, along with outside restaurants. This could be put into effect as early as April 12.