This number, for the week ending July 19, appeared to be a rise of 1,100 on the previous week’s figure of 1,700.
However, the Office for National Statistics advised against making direct weekly comparisons, due to changes to methodology and figures being based on modelling.
The number of individuals with Covid-19 in the community, outside hospitals and care homes, is estimated to have been 27,700 in the week ending July 19, also up from 24,000 the previous week but far lower than at the peak of the epidemic.
Heather Bovill, joint Covid-19 Infection Survey analysis lead, said: “We continue to see that despite decreases in the level of Covid-19 infection from mid-May to mid-June this has slowed in recent weeks and has now levelled off.”
The findings will raise concerns that the Government may have eased the lockdown too soon.
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However, ministers faced fraught decisions over trying to contain the virus while also seeking to revive the Covid-stricken economy.
Boris Johnson warned today that the infection is expected to take many months to defeat.
“I think that by the middle of next year, we will be well on the way past it,” he said on a visit to a GP’s surgery in Becton, east London, this morning.
“But I must be clear with people I do still think we have tough times ahead in keeping this virus under control, and we have tough times ahead in coming through economically.
“But I absolutely have no doubt that we are going to.”
More than 56,000 people with coronavirus have died in the UK, according to official figures.
The infection level analysis is part of a long-term study to track coronavirus in the general population, being done with Oxford University, Manchester University and Public Health England.
The latest headline modelling estimates of total level of community infections are based on 114,674 swab tests collected over the past six weeks, rather than all swab tests collected over the whole study period as used in previous publications.