More than half of Brits living in Covid-free areas as pubs finally open doors

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Just two months after the pandemic was at its worst, more than half of England now lives in areas that are completely coronavirus-free.

As pubs prepare to throw open their doors for the first time since December, public data shows a substantial number of regions haven't reported a single case of Covid-19 in more than a month.

Public Health England has redacted weekly case tallies for areas home to 34.5 million people in total due to the negligible number of infections — over half the UK's total population of 66 million.

On PHE's interactive map of cases, information for many areas reads: "There were fewer than 3 cases.

"For smaller areas with fewer than 3 cases, we do not show data. This is to protect individuals' identities."

The Telegraph reports these 4,307 areas have had at most two – but potentially zero – new Covid cases in the week ending April 4.

And 1,091 neighbourhoods, with a combined population of 8.2 million, have had their infection data suppressed every week since February, indicating a consistently minuscule infection rate.

Just 20,000 cases are now being reported in England each week, a huge improvement on the staggering 380,000 during the deadly second wave over winter.

During that time, just six English neighbourhoods out of 6,791 had low enough cases to require redaction.

Now various areas of Devon, including Combe Martin, Bampton, Lynton, Holcombe and Westleigh, have all gone 10 weeks with nearly zero cases.

In Cornwall, Roseland, Towednack, Probus, Lelant and Carbis Bay have gone nine weeks.

However the nation's official coronavirus R rate has remained stagnant at between 0.8 and 1 for the last three weeks, with advisors at Sage failing to agree on a number due to exceptionally low cases.

Drinkers in England are rejoicing today as the next phase of the Government's roadmap out of lockdown will see some 40% of pubs finally able to reopen and serve customers once more.

  • Pub rules you’ll need to follow when lockdown eases in England today

The most eager establishments have already opened, having legally been allowed to resume service at one minute past midnight.

Most will delay their much-anticipated reopenings until later on Monday.

Pubs and restaurants may only open if they offer outdoor service and strict table service only, much of which has been booked up for weeks to come.

However that means that only venues with beer gardens or access to outside space will be able to reopen their pubs and restaurants, meaning many owners will lose business.

There are around 37,500 pubs in England which could in theory open outdoors, but just 15,000 have a big enough outdoor space or beer garden, the Mirror reports.

The rule of six still applies to punters with a seat outside, and indoor seating will only resume in the second stage of relaxation of lockdown on May 17.

  • Pubs
  • Coronavirus

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