Covid shifts to the young: Two-thirds of new infections in the UK are in the ...

Two-thirds of new coronavirus infections in the UK are in the under-40s, while the rate among older people has fallen sharply in an 'extraordinary' shift.

The number of over-50s testing positive for Covid-19 now represents just a fifth of those nationwide, compared with three quarters in the spring.

Just three per cent are now made up of those over 80, down from 28 per cent six months ago, reported The Times.

The peak age range for infections is now in the 20s but for most of the pandemic it was in the 80s - sparking hope further restrictions can be reduced because it seems older people are voluntarily shielding.

One Government adviser has suggested a Swedish-style effort to keep workplaces open while advising older people to stay at home.

This graph shows the number of new coronavirus infections by age group over the last two weeks

This graph shows the number of new coronavirus infections by age group over the last two weeks

One Government adviser has suggested a Swedish-style effort to keep workplaces open while advising older people to stay at home. Pictured, the age of patients who died in hospitals in England during a week in mid-August

One Government adviser has suggested a Swedish-style effort to keep workplaces open while advising older people to stay at home. Pictured, the age of patients who died in hospitals in England during a week in mid-August

Mark Woolhouse of the University of Edinburgh, who sits on the government's SPI-M modelling group, said 'the epidemic is starting to divide' people by age.  

Ministers have spoken out against plans to ask people to shield based on their age and are worried if infections are allowed to rise in the young it will eventually spread to more vulnerable members of society.

Especially after France reported a rise in hospital admissions just weeks after cases in young people increased.     

Last week 2,042 cases were confirmed in people in their twenties, more than ten times the number among over-80s. 

Professor Dame Anne Johnson, professor of infectious disease epidemiology, University College London, told BBC Radio 4: 'This is indeed a critical moment. If you look at the data from PHE across the country, we are now seeing the highest number of detected infections in younger people aged 20-29 and also going up to 45. 

The number of over-50s testing positive for Covid-19 now represents just a fifth of those nationwide, compared with three quarters in the spring. Pictured, diners in Frith Street, Soho, on August 11

The number of over-50s testing positive for Covid-19 now represents just a fifth of those nationwide, compared with three quarters in the spring. Pictured, diners in Frith Street, Soho, on August 11

Government figures show around 20,000 were in hospital every day during the darkest days of the crisis in April

Government figures show around 20,000 were in hospital every day during the darkest days of the crisis in April

Around 3,000 people a day were admitted to hospital with Covid-19 at the peak of the crisis in April, according to government statistics. The correct figure is not yet known

Around 3,000 people a day were admitted to hospital with Covid-19 at the peak of the crisis in April, according to government statistics. The correct figure is not yet known

Ministers have spoken out against plans to ask people to shield based on their age and are worried if infections are allowed to rise in the young it will eventually spread to more vulnerable members of society. Pictured, women on a night out in Soho on August 29

Ministers have spoken out against plans to ask people to shield based on their age and are worried if infections are allowed to rise in the young it will eventually spread to more vulnerable members of society. Pictured, women on a night out in Soho on August 29

'On the one hand, the good news is we aren't at the moment seeing the uptick in cases in hospitals and in deaths but of course that reflects where the transmission is going on.'

She added that it would be 'incredibly important' to continue to tell young people about the risks of transmitting coronavirus. 

Cases started rising in younger people from July, when the hospitality sector was allowed to open up. 

The number of positive Covid-19 tests are lower in all ages than in the Spring, but the number of elderly people with the disease has fallen.

Sir David Spiegelhalter, professor of public understanding of risk at the University of Cambridge, said the age shift was 'affected by testing availability, but also a shift in who is infected'. 

He added: 'The elderly and frail seem to be far better protected than they were at the start of the epidemic, but they need to be able to get their freedom back.' 

There are now an estimated 2,000 new cases each day, on average - down 200 from last Friday, when the prediction sat at 2,200 - according to the Office for National Statistics.

Some 27,100 people in England are thought to be infected at any one time - 0.05 per cent of the population or one in every 2,000 people. This total is a decrease of four per cent from the 28,200 estimate last week. 

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Manchester Airport saw arrivals from Portugal today

A holiday goer arrives home from Portugal today

Holiday goers arriving back to the UK after Portugal was not added to the UK quarantine list. The peak age range for infections is now in the 20s but for most of the pandemic it was in the 80s

Britain yesterday confirmed another 1,940 cases of coronavirus in the biggest surge for more than three months, with May 30 the last time so many people were diagnosed with the

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