More than 1,700 people in the UK have been reported to have tested positive for coronavirus, the largest weekend number since the middle of May.
The government figures, published on Sunday, which showed 1,715 further positive tests, continue a worrying trend of a growing number of cases since the beginning of July, amid persistent concerns over a second spike in the autumn.
The cases bring the total number to 334,467. There was just one new death, bringing the total to 41,499.
Weekend figures are typically lower than those recorded on weekdays because of delays in processing patient information. The last Saturday or Sunday when the daily number of new positive cases was above 1,715 was 17 May, when the figure was 1,838, though the preceding figures that week were significantly higher than they have been in recent days. The total is the highest number on any day since June 4.
The news came as passengers who flew to Cardiff from the Greek island of Zante on a Tui flight five days ago were told to self-isolate after at least seven people on the aircraft tested positive for Covid-19.
Cardiff and Vale Test Trace Protect and Public Health Wales identified at least seven confirmed cases of Covid-19 from three different groups deemed to be infectious on the flight.
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Last week Plymouth city council said that up to 30 teenagers in the area could have coronavirus after they flew back from Zante, with 11 members of the group – all about 18 and 19 – having tested positive.
Greece is not currently on the list of countries for which travellers face quarantine restrictions. But the Foreign Office said on Friday that local restrictions had been tightened on Zante, with new limits on large gatherings, large groups in restaurants and late-night food openings.
Dr Giri Shankar of Public Health Wales said of last week’s flight: “We are advising that all passengers on this flight are considered close contacts and must self-isolate. These passengers will be contacted shortly, but meanwhile, they must self-isolate at home as they may become infectious, even without developing symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should book a test without delay.”
Shankar suggested that in general “a minority of the 20-30 year age group” were not following social distancing guidelines carefully enough and that their actions had “resulted in the spread of the virus to other groups of people”.
Shankar said: “I would make a direct appeal to young people to remember that even if they feel that they would not be badly affected by Covid-19 if they were to test positive for it, if they were to pass it on to older or more vulnerable family members, friends or colleagues it could be extremely serious, even fatal.”
The FCO’s travel advice says: “Greek authorities are likely to impose additional local coronavirus-related restrictions in certain areas, if they perceive a heightened case-rate or other valid reason in relation to that area.”
It was also reported that more than 1,000 people have been tested for Covid-19 after an outbreak linked to a bingo night in Staffordshire. There are 16 known cases linked to the event at Silverdale working men’s club on 16 August, according to Staffordshire county council. It said anyone who tested positive was being told to self-isolate, while the contacts of those who tested positive were being traced.
Richard Harling, the council’s director of health and care, said: “What we are seeing from test and trace activity is a widening network from the original bingo event as people met with friends and family and went out socialising.
“More than 1,000 people have already been tested, but we need everyone who was at any of the venues on the given dates to get tested. This is vital in our work to identify people who may have the virus and help contain the spread of infection even further.”