THE third Covid wave has reached a new peak as a surge in young Brits starts to spill over.
This could spell disaster for the NHS this winter, an expert has warned.
Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE Covid Study App, said: "The UK seems to be slowly waking up to the fact that Covid cases are too high, but the reality is they’ve been soaring for months and many countries have put us on their red list.
"Infections remain high in young people, and look to be spilling over into the 35-55 year olds.
"If these increases creep into the over 55s it could spell disaster for the NHS this winter."
According to the group's data, which sees people log their symptoms and test results, the UK is seeing 69,993 new daily cases.
This is a decrease of two per cent on the figures from last week, but is still high.
In the double vaccinated, it’s thought there are currently 18,817 new daily symptomatic cases in the UK.
Cases have been slowly increasing for a few weeks, with 16,957 cases last week.
On average 1 in 69 people in the UK currently have Covid, with cases rising in the 35-55 year olds.
Prof Spector said: "With cases so high, it’s clear that herd immunity isn't happening, and the risk is most people continue to believe they are safe if they have had Covid or a vaccine.
"ZOE data shows that vaccine protection wanes over time and a natural infection alone only gives 64 per cent protection, so we need to be doing all we can to get everyone double vaccinated and stop waiting for herd immunity to happen through natural infection.”
Last week he warned that letting cases run rampant in schools is a "gamble" – the fear being it would start to hit older people.
The rise in the older age group could be the parents of the school age children who are catching Covid and bringing it home.
And now the worry is they will pass it on to their parents, who might be on the waning end of their vaccinations.
'EXTRAORDINARILY HIGH RATE'
The ONS said secondary school pupils had the highest number of cases of any age group, just weeks after kids went back to school.
Prof Kevin McConway, an emeritus professor of applied statistics, The Open University, said it was “an extraordinarily high rate”.
Kids can now get their Covid vaccine and Prof Spector said that more evidence is now pointing to the importance of vaccines.
Yesterday saw the Department of Health's daily Covid cases hit the highest total in three months with another 42,776 infections recorded.
The number is the biggest figure since July 21, when 44,104 people tested positive.
The drop in deaths but rise in cases comes as Britain's jobs rate hit pre-Covid levels — as countless workers head back to offices.
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