Infection figures appear to be on a downward trajectory, according to the latest NHS Test and Trace data.
The UK contact tracing service - which releases figures on weekly positive cases - showed between January 21 and January 27, 2021 that 196,257 positive cases of Covid-19 were recorded.
Compared with the previous week, this was 29% lower.
The lower infection rates were recorded despite 1.4% more tests being conducted around the country. Of these, there was also an increase in the number returned within 24 hours.
Responding to the new figures released, NHS Providers Chief Executive Chris Hopson, said: “It's good to see infection figures falling, even as the number of tests carried out this week increased.
"It's really important that confirmed cases make it into the test and trace system, and that contacts are identified and reached.
"On these measures we see grounds for encouragement. Test turnaround times are also improving, though clearly, there's still a way to go.
"This is a key moment in the pandemic. It's vital that the test and trace system plays its full part in bearing down on the virus. On this evidence it is becoming better placed to do that."