NEW graphs showing “absolutely flat” coronavirus cases could push Prime Minister Boris Johnson to lift restrictions early.
Lockdown rules eased on Monday and the next set of restrictions are due to be lifted in June.
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Experts have this week raised concerns amid fears the Indian variant is ripping through the country after it was found to be dominant in 23 areas in the UK.
But data presented at a Downing Street press conference this evening suggests that the UK is in a “good place” when it comes to the number of coronavirus infections.
Speaking this evening Professor Jonathan Van Tam said: “We are in a very low place indeed.
“There’s better news on the number of people in hospital, as you can see it’s quite flat.”
Graphs presented showing infection rates in the UK detail a flat line from mid April to May.
A separate graph detailing hospitals rates revealed a similar pattern.
It comes as:
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the data would be reviewed on June 14, this he said would decide if lockdown could be ended fully on June 21.
The Indian variant has however made many question the lockdown plans but experts have said that restrictions shouldn’t stay in place due to people who have not taken up their jab offer.
Areas such as Blackburn and Bolton have the highest rates in the country and Health Secretary Matt Hancock previously said that some people who had been hospitalised with the variant had been eligible for the jab.
Of the 315 local areas in England, 135 (43 per cent) have seen a rise in rates from coronavirus, 164 (52 per cent) have seen a fall and 16 are unchanged, data from Public Health England (PHE) shows.
Bolton in Greater Manchester continues to have the highest rate, with 920 new cases in the seven days to May 15 – the equivalent of 319.9 cases per 100,000 people.
This is up from 161.4 in the seven days to May 8.
Blackburn with Darwen in Lancashire has the second highest rate, up from 96.2 to 145.0, with 217 new cases.
Bedford has the third highest, up from 69.2 to 127.5, with 221 new cases.
These are all areas where the Indian variant is dominant and where extra measures have been introduced.
Former minister Conor Burns is among politicians that have said Brits have endured restrictions and it “wouldn’t be right” to keep them in place for people who refuse to get jabbed.
He said: “As a nation we have tolerated with generally good humour the most profound curtailment of our freedoms in peacetime for the greater good.
“It wouldn’t be right to do it again for those who have been offered a vaccine and have freely chosen not to take it – fully aware of the risks.”
The Bournemouth West MP’s remarks come amid a heated debate within the Cabinet over how to deal with people who have rejected the jab.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng yesterday insisted he’s “absolutely confident” there won’t be any delay to the PM’s roadmap.
But privately senior ministers have described vaccine rejection as “the absolute principal threat to the June 21” reopening.
A senior minister told Politico: “The risk is that a small number of idiots ruin it for everyone else.”