Covid-19 case rates have dropped below 100 cases per 100,000 people in all local areas of UK for the first time in seven months, new analysis shows.
The highest rate anywhere in the country is currently 98.8 cases per 100,000 in Mansfield in Nottinghamshire.
The lowest is just 1.0 in both Rother in East Sussex and North Devon, while the Orkney Islands and Western Isles are currently recording no cases.
The last time every local area of the UK recorded weekly rates below 100 was for the seven days to September 1 2020.
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It is almost a complete turnaround from how the data looked three months ago, when the second wave of coronavirus was at its peak.
In the week to January 10, only five of the UK’s 380 local authority areas had rates below 100 – and some parts of the country were seeing rates rocket above 1,000 cases per 100,000.
The latest figures, which have been compiled by the PA news agency from health agency data, are for the seven days to April 10.
They also show that rates have plummeted below 10 cases per 100,000 in around one in six (17%) local areas of the UK.
These include rates of 2.8 in Derbyshire Dales, 2.6 in the Scottish Borders and 1.1 in Monmouthshire in Wales.
The lowest rate in Northern Ireland is currently 12.9 in Mid & East Antrim.
The plunge in Covid-19 case rates since the start of the year reflects the success of the lockdowns imposed across the UK just after Christmas, which helped limit the circulation of the virus as well as drive down levels of infection within the community.
Restrictions are now being eased in various parts of the country, though it is too soon to see any impact of this on case rates.
More recently, it is likely the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines has also played a role in reducing the number of new reported cases of coronavirus.
The latest research from the “React” study commissioned by the Government and run by Imperial College London, which focuses just on coronavirus in England, suggested that the vaccine had started “breaking the link” between infections, hospitalisations and deaths.
But speaking last week on the release of the research, Steven Riley, professor of infectious disease dynamics at Imperial College, warned that if the vaccine rollout slowed down, researchers would expect to see higher levels of infection.
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