Covid cases have continued to fall with more than 10,000 fewer infections recorded today compared to last week.
The latest figures show 26,911 people tested positive in the latest 24 hour period, a 22.4% week-on-week decrease.
Experts had expected a spike in cases due to more pupils returning to schools in England and offices filling up again.
But last week there were 38,013 cases, indicating the pace of transmission is slowing.
Today’s figures do not include cases from Scotland, which has been hard-hit since its own schools went back last month.
The Scottish Government blamed ‘technical issues’ for not being able to supply the latest data.
Across the UK, a further 158 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.
Another 836 people were admitted to hospital on September 11, the latest date for which figures are available.
Vaccine take-up has continued to plateau with 23,003 first doses administered yesterday and 59,404 second doses.
The NHS has officially launched its booster campaign, which will see millions of eligible people offered a Pfizer vaccine, or in some cases a half-dose of Moderna, six months after their last jab.
Ministers are still struggling to convince the final 10% of the population who are still totally unjabbed, despite new figures showing the vaccines have directly averted about 230,800 hospital admissions in England.
Public Health England said today that some 178,900 admissions have been prevented among those aged 65 years and over, with a further 51,900 among people aged 45 to 64.
Estimates for the number of deaths prevented by vaccinations in England are unchanged at 112,300.
Separate figures from Public Health England show the rate of new cases of Covid-19 is falling in all regions.
North-east England has the highest rate, with 369.6 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to September 12, down from 385.7. London has the lowest rate at 211.7, down from 250.9.
The return of schools is showing in the case rates for five to nine-year-olds, where they have jumped from 347.1 to 382.0 cases per 100,000 people.
But infections have fallen among 10 to 19-year-olds, with a rate of 597.4 in the seven days to September 12, down from 696.2.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, said there are still high levels of infection in the community.
‘We are in a much better place today to deal with the virus than we were a year ago, but we must not be complacent,’ she added.
‘The vaccines are the best defence we have against the virus so please make sure to get protected.
‘Those over 50 and the clinically vulnerable will be offered a third primary dose six months after their second dose, and 12 to 15-year-olds can have one dose to help protect themselves and their families.’
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