Covid: whats the situation in England, and what should I do if I get it?
As schools and universities prepare for the return of students after the summer break, we take a look at the rules and advice on Covid.
Whats the current situation?
Its a mixed picture. According to the latest data for England from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Covid case rates and hospital admission rates as detected through hospital testing have stabilised after recent rises, albeit from quite a low level.
Some data, however, for example that based on swabs of GP patients collected as part of a monitoring scheme, has hinted at a rise in case rates, and A&E attendances for Covid-like illness have also increased.
There is also a new variant in the mix, called BA2.86. Scientists are monitoring it closely because it shows a large number of genetic mutations, raising concerns it could evade immunity from vaccination and previous infection. But experts say as yet there is too little data to be sure of the risk the variant might pose.