Preston’s coronavirus infection rate has increased week-on-week and gone back above the 100 mark in latest figures.Advertisement
It came as the Prime Minister updated the nation on the first day of the latest lockdown easing step – with groups of six people or two households able to meet outdoors for the first time in months.
New coronavirus cases recorded in Preston for Monday (29 March) were 22.
South Ribble saw 11 new cases for the same day.
Wyre was up by just one case, Fylde by four, Ribble Valley by two and Chorley by nine new Covid cases.
See the latest coronavirus cases and information near you
Preston’s infection rate is now 106.9 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to March 25, up from 90.8 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to March 18.
Data for the most recent four days (March 26-29) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.
South Ribble saw its rate fall to 71.3, down from 89.4 for the same two date periods as Preston.
Wyre’s infection rate is now 43.7, down from 50.9 and Fylde’s rate is now 56.9, down from 70.6.
Ribble Valley is down to 52.6, from 92 and Chorley saw a rise to 68.5 from 55.8.
Read more: One year of lockdown in Preston chronicled – from tiers to Good Samaritans
Boris Johnson has appealed to the public to ‘exercise caution’ amid fears of a new wave of Covid spreading from Europe.
At a Downing Street press conference the Prime Minister acknowledged it had been a “big day” for many people as they were able to see friends and family outdoors for the first time since the latest controls were imposed.
The rules changed today (Mon 29 March) to mean groups of six people or six people from two households could not meet outdoors – including in private gardens.
Outdoor sports facilities have been able to re-open and the Stay at Home rule has been lifted with the public urged to ‘Stay Local’.
See the full press conference below
The Prime Minister said it was not clear how “robust” the defences from the Covid vaccination programme were.
He said: “What we don’t know is exactly how strong our fortifications now are, how robust our defences are against another wave.
“We have seen what is happening with our European friends. Historically, at least there has been a time lag and then we have had a wave ourselves.
“That’s why I stress the importance of everybody maintaining the discipline people have shown for so long.”
See the latest on the vaccine rollout below including people vaccinated in your area
England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said: “Yes, there is a high likelihood that there will be some uptick as a result of the relaxations today, and that was anticipated right from the beginning of trying to lay out where the road map would go.
“But if people stick to social distancing rules and they are outside, the risk of transmission is massively lower than if they are very close together and inside.
“Provided people stick to outdoors and at a distance if it’s people who are not in their households, the impact in terms of an uptick should be modest.
“I think it would not be realistic to think there will be no impact, and that is something we are all aware of.”
Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines