Official figures have given fresh hope coronavirus is not running out of control in England.

There was alarm last month when the Office for National Statistics recorded the first rise in new cases each day since the devastating peak in April.

That potentially meant the virus was spreading exponentially, with each sufferer infecting more than one other person with the disease.

After a string of new restrictions, including a ban on indoor meetings in Greater Manchester, delayed reopenings and travel quarantine from Spain, that rise appears to have been arrested, for now.

For the second week in a row, the ONS now says the rise in new cases each day appears to have "levelled off".

But the number of new cases hasn't gone back down again either. It's still higher than at a low point around the end of June, before pubs reopened.

Today's ONS figures estimate there were around 3,800 new cases per day in the week to August 9.

Last week's estimate suggested there may be around 3,700 new cases a day. The week before, the estimate was 4,200 new cases per day.

The figures cover the first full week after Boris Johnson's dramatic, last-minute decision to halt lockdown changes on August 1.

With hours to spare, the Prime Minister announced England's bowling alleys, skating rinks, wedding receptions, and beauty facials and brows would no longer reopen on August 1 as planned.

However, those services will now all be allowed to reopen from tomorrow - leading to fresh fears the virus could surge once more.

England's schools are also due to reopen fully in two weeks' time, prompting fears other places like pubs may need to shut in return.

The virus is under control for now - but schools haven't gone back yet (file photo)

Unlike other statistics, the ONS uses modelling to estimate all those in England's community with Covid-19 - not just those who get a test or test positive.

The Infection Survey Pilot does not cover institutional settings such as hospitals, care homes or prisons.

The ONS said: "There is some evidence of a small increase in people testing positive for COVID-19 in July 2020 after a low point in June, but this appears to have now levelled off."

Spa treatments can take place from this Saturday
Eyebrow treatments can take place from this Saturday

This week's figures said that in the week to August 9, 28,300 people (19,000 to 40,700) in the community population in England had COVID-19.

There were around 0.69 new COVID-19 infections for every 10,000 people.

That equated to around 3,800 new cases per day (or an estimate range of 2,300 to 5,900).

These figures are almost exactly the same as those recorded the previous week - suggesting each Covid-19 sufferer is passing the virus to almost exactly one other person.

By comparison, last week's figures said that in the week to August 2, 28,300 people (18,900 to 40,800) in the community population in England had COVID-19.

There were around 0.68 new COVID-19 infections for every 10,000 people.

That equated to around 3,700 new cases per day (or an estimate range of 2,100 to 6,400).