Majority of England living in ‘Covid-free’ areas as scientists say lockdown exit on track

About 38 million people in England are living in areas that are virtually ‘Covid-free’ as the Government’s top scientific advisers say “things are very much moving in the right direction”.

According to analysis by The Times newspaper, seven in 10 people live in places where a maximum of two infections were reported during the past week where up-to-date data is available.

The government’s top scientific advisers believe the figures show the roadmap for lifting lockdown measures is working. It is understood ministers are due to meet next week to decide whether the next step will go ahead as planned on May 17.

This would allow venues such as cinemas and indoor soft-play centres to reopen, as well as the largest outdoor venues - with attendances limited for major events like Premier League football. Restaurants and pubs will be allowed to welcome people inside - the rule-of-six people or two households would apply.

The infectious disease modeller, who is also a member of the SPI-M group whose calculations feed into SAGE said: “The road map for relaxation is on track but we need to ensure we monitor it at every stage as the country reopens to evaluate the impact of unlocking society upon cases, hospital admissions and deaths.

“The vaccination campaign continues to be successful, so I hope that the road map can proceed on schedule. But it is really important we monitor the data over the next few weeks.”

The news comes as an estimated seven in 10 adults in England were likely to have tested positive for Covid antibodies in the week to April 11, according to new figures.

The figure for adults in private households - 68.3 per cent - is up from an estimated one in two, or 53.1 per cent, two weeks earlier.

The presence of Covid-19 antibodies suggests someone has had the infection in the past or has received the vaccine.

Source: Evening Standard