The coronavirus epidemic in England is shrinking with the number of new cases a week falling by more than 7,000 to just over 31,000, official figures reveal today.

Both the number of new cases and the infection level have fallen sharply in the last fortnight, according to the study led by the Office for National Statistics.

It put the number of people in the country with the infection, outside hospitals and care homes, at averaging around 33,000 at any given time between May 25 and June 7.

Two weeks ago, the infection level announced was 133,000, dropping to 53,000 and now 33,000.

The weekly number of new cases published was 54,000 a fortnight ago, reducing to 39,000 and now 31,600 between April 26 and June 7.

The figures mean that on average around 4,500 people a day are being infected with Covid, according to the latest data.

The ONS said: “Modelling of the trend over time shows evidence that the number of people in England testing positive has decreased.”

The analysis is based on tests performed on 19,933 people in 9,179 households between May 25 and June 7, and was done in conjuction with Oxford and Manchester universities.