LONDON - An estimated 3.5 million people in Britain had COVID-19 in the latest week of available data, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Friday, up nearly 30% on the 2.7 million recorded in the previous week.

"The percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to increase across the UK," the ONS said. "These increases were likely caused by increases in infections compatible with Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5."

An estimated 1 in 19 people in England were testing positive in the week to July 6, the ONS said, up from around 1 in 25 the previous week.

Scotland, whose figures were for the week to July 7, had the highest infection rate in the United Kingdom, with an estimated 1 in 16 people testing positive for COVID-19.

(Reporting by Farouq Suleiman; editing by Michael Holden)