March 11, 2022 In the 2 weeks since England ended COVID-19 restrictions, the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths are back on the rise -- a reversal of the overall downward trend that had appeared in the last month.

The government's own data as well as an independent analysis both report an increase in cases, especially among people 55 and older.

Throughout the pandemic, what has happened in the U.K. has often been a precursor to what happens in the United States a few weeks later. While the U.S. has not lifted as many COVID-19 restrictions, mask mandates and vaccination rules are easing in much of the country.

Legal COVID-19 restrictions ended on Feb. 15 in Northern Ireland and are set to be phased out on March 21 in Scotland and on March 28 in Wales.

Latest reporting from the government's coronavirus data confirms the rise in numbers. Overall for the UK over the last 7 days, the number of new infections was up 46.4%, deaths were up 19.5%, and patients admitted to hospital was up 12.2%. Hospitalizations and deaths often lag new infections by several weeks.

Independent data from what’s known as the ZOE analysis, a app-based collaboration between the company Zoe Global Limited and King’s College London, confirms the rise in numbers, although they are slightly different from the government data.

The latest ZOE data from newly symptomatic app users who logged positive swab tests, suggested an average of 175,189 new daily symptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the 2 weeks ending March 7 – an increase of 20.4%.

On average, 1 in 30 people in the U.K. were estimated to have COVID-19, the scientists said.

COVID cases were rising in all age groups, including among those aged 55 and older and the double vaccinated, the ZOE analysis suggested.

"The major increase in new cases across the country and in the elderly is a worry, especially as we now see an uptick in hospitalisations for the first time, said Professor Tim Spector, an epidemiologist from King's College London, and the study cofounder. .

He added that an increase "was predicted when all restrictions were lifted", and that high rates of infection and prevalence were likely "for the foreseeable future.”

The analysis matched data from another study from Imperial College London, which reported an uptick in coronavirus -CoV-2 infections among older age groups that was likely to have been fueled by increased socializing and waning immunity.