The UK recorded another 98,104 Covid-19 cases and 165 deaths on Thursday.
The latest daily infections tally is down on Wednesday’s figure of 102,483.
However the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 continues to creep higher – standing at 16,975 according to the latest update, a rise of 215 on the previous day and the 19th successive daily increase.
But the number of seriously ill patients with Covid on ventilators remains largely flat. The most recent figure shows 302 people were on ventilators on Wednesday, down 14 on Tuesday’s number.
In London, another 58,407 cases have been reported, taking the capital’s seven-day infection rate to 648.8 per 100,000 people.
It comes as new figures revealed Covid-19 hospital admission rates for people aged 75 and over in England have jumped to their highest level for more than a year.
New cases of the virus are also estimated to be increasing among all age groups in all regions, with health chiefs warning numbers are likely to rise further.
Admission rates for hospital patients with Covid-19 in England in both of the oldest age groups, 75 to 84-year-olds and people 85 and over, are now at their highest since mid-January 2021, when the second wave of the virus was at its peak.
The rate for over-85s stood at 178.3 per 100,000 people last week, up from 137.0 the previous week, while for people aged 75 to 84 it was 74.3, up from 59.8.
Rates among other age groups were lower, though all showed a week-on-week increase, according to the UK Health Security Agency (HSA).
The overall Covid-19 hospital admission rate in England stood at 17.9 per 100,000, up from 14.1 and the highest since the week to January 16, 2022.
Dr Susan Hopkins, HSA chief medical adviser, said the figures are “a reminder to us all that the pandemic is not over”.
She added: “Hospital admissions and cases of Covid-19 have continued to rise and we can expect to see further increases before we start to see a decline.
“Vaccination is the key to staying safe from serious illness and it’s vital that everyone gets all of their recommended doses.
“Wearing a face covering in crowded or enclosed spaces, socialising outside where possible, and always observing good hand hygiene will also help to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
“Anyone with symptoms or a positive test should limit their contact with others as much as possible.”
Case rates among people aged 50 and over are estimated by the HSA to have climbed back to levels last seen in early January this year, at the peak of the wave caused by the original Omicron variant.
The current surge in infections is being driven by the Omicron BA.2 variant – a more transmissible form of the virus.
But other factors might be contributing to the trend, including “the gradual increase in social contacts over recent weeks and the ending of legal requirements for self-isolation”, the HSA said.