Interactive map reveals Covid cases in YOUR area as Boris set to reveal roadmap out of lockdown
THIS interactive map shows the number of coronavirus cases in your area – as Boris Johnson is set to reveal the roadmap out of lockdown.
Infection rates have been driven down in the past seven days with tough restrictions still in place while Covid vaccines continue to be rolled out.
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However, there are areas where new Covid cases remain high including Corby in Northamptonshire, with 321.2 cases per 100,000 and Middlesbrough with 317.8 cases per 100,000.
The data is provided by Public Health England (PHE) and shows areas where infections are most prevalent in dark purple.
In contrast the areas in lighter shades are where infection levels are lowest.
Last week, Rutland in the East Midlands had the highest infection rate with 405.7 cases per 100,000 people.
In England, the lowest case rates in the past seven days were recorded in Torridge, Devon, with 14.6 cases per 100,000, while prevalence is low for the whole county compared to the rest of the country.
While there wasn't a single case of coronavirus on the Shetland Islands in Scotland.
It comes as the spread of mutant Covid variants appear to be falling thanks to the roll out of rapid surge testing in areas where cases were identified.
There were around 300 cases of the South Africa and Brazil variants in the UK a month ago – but the latest data shows there have been just 12 new ones since then.
Yesterday, surge testing was rolled out in Brentwood, Essex, after a case of the South Africa variant was found there.
People living in the area were "strongly encouraged" to take a test when offered, whether or not they have any symptoms of the virus.
Keeping infection rates low is set to be a key measure in the Prime Minister's plans to ease lockdown when they are announced later today.
Mr Johnson is to set out a "steady as she goes" plan, with schools and outdoor activities the first in line for a return.
He will tell MPs that all pupils in all years in England can go back to the classroom from March 8, with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed to restart as well.
Socialising in parks and public spaces with one other person will also be permitted in a fortnight, when the rules are relaxed, to allow people to sit down for a drink or picnic.
A further easing of restrictions will take place on March 29 when the school Easter holidays begin – with larger groups allowed to gather in parks and gardens.
The moves form the first step in a four-part plan, which will not be completed until the summer – with around five weeks between stages expected to assess the impact on the spread of the virus and prepare businesses for the next move.
By the Easter holidays the "rule of six" will return, along with new measures allowing two households totalling more than six people to meet – giving greater flexibility for families and friends.
Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts are also set to reopen, and organised adult and children's sport, including grassroots football, can return from March 29.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said people would also be able to travel to see friends and family from another household from March 29, "as long as it's outdoors, and it is two families, or the rule of six".
'STEADY AS SHE GOES'
Details of the next three stages will be set out in the road map, but Mr Zahawi indicated that, as with previous lockdowns, indoor activities will be among the last to resume.
He said: "At the moment, the focus is very much on the steady as she goes.
"Outdoor versus indoor, priority being children in schools, second priority is obviously allowing two people on March 8 to meet outside for a coffee to address some of the issues around loneliness, and of course mental health as well.
"And then the 29th is two families, or rule of six, coming together, and outdoor sporting activities as well."
Progress on the next steps out of lockdown will depend on meeting four tests: the success of the vaccine rollout, evidence of vaccine efficacy, an assessment of new variants, and keeping infection rates below a level that could put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
However, Number 10 insisted that the "stay at home" message would remain in place despite the relaxation of some restrictions.
The changes will apply across England, rather than on a regional basis.
A five-week gap from March 8 would suggest the next phase of the programme could begin as early as April 12, if the tests are met.
Speculation has centred on non-essential retail opening in that phase, with the possibility of pubs and restaurants being able to serve outdoors.
But activities such as cinemas and theatres are likely to face a longer wait, and, as with previous lockdowns, mixing in other people's houses is likely to be later still.
Mr Johnson has stressed the need to relax restrictions in a "cautious" manner, saying that the Government would make decisions based on the latest data at every step.
But now that one in three adults in the UK have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, Mr Johnson will face pressure from some Tory MPs to ease measures more quickly.
However, scientists have urged caution, with leading epidemiologist Professor John Edmunds warning that any easing of the lockdown must be gradual to prevent a surge in hospital admissions and deaths.
Meanwhile, researchers from the University of Edinburgh, the University of Strathclyde and Public Health Scotland found the Covid-19 vaccination programme has been linked to a substantial reduction in hospital admissions.
By the fourth week after receiving the initial dose, the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines were shown to reduce the risk of hospital admission from Covid-19 by up to 85 per cent and 94 per cent, respectively, they found.
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