Almost 40 local authorities in the UK recorded less than 1 in 10,000 people catching COVID in the last week, the latest data shows.
The number of COVID cases in the UK has been dropping steadily in recent weeks and has fallen below 3,000 a day.
With the figures now so low, regional variations have opened up across the country, with three local authorities – Maldon, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) and the Shetland Islands – reporting no COVID cases in the week ending 24 April.
The highest in the country is Selby with 109.2 cases per 100,000 - the only local authority with more than 100 and almost double when compared to the previous week.
Some 39 local authorities in the UK have reported less than 10 cases per 100,000, with the majority of them being rural.
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Although cases have been falling across the country, deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said on Wednesday the UK might not see them go much lower.
“My sense is that probably we are at, or close to, the bottom at the moment in terms of this level of disease in the UK."
Although the latest figures on case numbers in local authorities are encouraging, almost half of the ones in England recorded an increase in the number of cases.
The five areas with the biggest week-on-week rises are Selby (up from 56.3 to 107.0),Hyndburn (28.4 to 70.3), North Lincolnshire (52.2 to 72.6), Chiltern (6.3 to 26.1) and Waverley (12.7 to 30.1).
The UK reported 2,445 new cases on Thursday, with the seven-day daily average down 8.6% from the previous week.
At the height of the pandemic, the UK was reporting more than 80,000 cases a day.
The decline in cases will be welcome news for the leaders of the four nations of the UK who are hoping to continue lifting lockdown.
Most shops are now open across the country with more lockdown lifting, including the return of eating in restaurants indoors, expected to happen in England from 17 May.
The 39 local authorities with less than 10 cases per 100,000
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar 0
Shetland Islands 0
Scottish Borders 0.9
Orkney Islands 4.5
Merthyr Tydfil 5
Rhondda Cynon Taf 6.2
Folkestone and Hythe 7.1
Isle of Anglesey 7.1
Forest of Dean 8.1
Argyll and Bute 8.2
Vale of Glamorgan 8.2
Blaenau Gwent 8.6
West Devon 9
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