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England is recording fewer than 1,000 new COVID cases a day as coronavirus continues to shrink across the UK, new figures show.
Experts behind the ZOE COVID symptom study - the largest community monitoring of the virus in the UK - estimate there were 1,046 new symptomatic cases of COVID in the UK a day, which is down around 100 from a week ago.
They say the latest report is among the lowest estimated number of cases the researchers have recorded throughout the course of the pandemic.
Tim Spector, who leads the study, said: "Consistent low levels signal that we’re moving from a COVID pandemic to COVID becoming endemic in the UK, where we expect to see low levels in the population with the occasional outbreak.
"It’s very reassuring that low rates continue despite reopening gyms and outdoor areas in pubs and restaurants, and bodes well for further relaxation of restrictions in line with the government roadmap out of lockdown."
The ZOE symptom study, which has been organised by King's College London, has been analysing the pandemic since March 2020.
Using participants reporting symptoms through an app they have been providing estimates on the circulation of the virus.
There is some evidence the number of daily cases has plateaued at the current low and may stay at current levels for a while.
Deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said on Wednesday: “My sense is that probably we are at, or close to, the bottom at the moment in terms of this level of disease in the UK."
The ZOE study found there were just 757 new cases of COVID a day in England, with comparably low numbers in Scotland and Wales.
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At the height of the second wave in January the UK was recording more than 60,000 new cases a day.
The latest data suggest roughly one in 3,551 people have COVID in the UK.
All four nations of the UK are currently in the middle of lifting lockdown, with most shops now open across the country.
More lockdown lifting, including the return of eating in restaurants indoors, is expected to happen in England from 17 May.
Many are also looking forward to the possibility of holidays abroad this year, with the government expected to announce a traffic light system, which lists 'green' countries where people can return from without having to quarantine.
Although the UK has successfully reduced the circulation of the virus at home, across the world the pandemic rages on, with global daily cases recently setting new all-time highs.
The ZOE symptom study also estimated the R-value was at 0.9 in England and Wales and 1 in Scotland.
The study also found a small proportion of those who have been vaccinated still get infected.
They estimated the risk of catching COVID in the unvaccinated was one in 45,000; after one dose it was one in 100,000 and after both doses, it was one in 150,000.
The UK's vaccine rollout has been among the most successful in world with over 64% of adults receiving their first jab and just under 26% getting their second.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said at a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday seven in 10 adults now have protective COVID-19 antibodies.
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