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Weekly COVID cases rise by 71% to highest level since early February, latest figures show

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COVID cases in England rose by 71% in the week to 30 June compared to the previous seven days, with a total of 135,685 people testing positive, latest Test and Trace figures show.

It is the highest number since the week to 3 February.

The surge in new cases comes after the government revealed its plans for “Freedom Day” on 19 July, when all remaining restrictions will be lifted contingent on a final decision set to be made next Monday.

The latest figures also showed 76.9% of people who were tested for coronavirus in England at a regional site, local site or mobile testing unit received their result within 24 hours.

This is down from 83.8% the previous week and the lowest percentage since the week to January 20.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had pledged that, by the end of June 2020, the results of all in-person tests would be back within 24 hours.

He told the House of Commons he would get “all tests turned around within 24 hours by the end of June, except for difficulties with postal tests or insuperable problems like that”.

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Meanwhile, of the 112,585 people transferred to the Test and Trace system in the week to June 30, 87.9% were reached and asked to provide details of recent close contacts.

This is down from 90.7% the previous week and is the lowest proportion since the week to February 3.

Some 12% of people transferred to Test and Trace in the week to June 30 were not reached, while a further 0.1% did not provide any communication details.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak told Sky News on Thursday that said Sajid Javid is looking at an “appropriate, balanced and proportionate” approach for isolation when people are contacted by the NHS app.

He said: “I’ve spoken to the Health Secretary about this and he’s aware of the frustration that people have around this.

“We have two different systems for the test and trace: we have obviously the NHS one, and we also have the app. I know most people’s concerns rest with how the app is working and the Health Secretary is aware of that.

“The app counts for the majority of the people who need to isolate, I understand, on the numbers and he’s looking at what the most appropriate, balanced and proportionate approach to isolation is in these circumstances.”