Chance of catching coronavirus is now one in 1,000 – but it ‘will never be 100% safe’ – The Sun

THE likelihood of catching coronavirus is now one in 1,000 – while the chances of Brits meeting someone with the deadly bug have dropped from one in 40 to just one in 500.

But top officials have warned we will never be 100 per cent safe from the virus which has killed more than 38,000 people in the UK.

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England's deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries gave the good news at this afternoon's daily Downing Street press conference.

But she warned that we're not yet out of the woods, adding: "It's a critical time – we need to be very careful."

During today's press briefing, led by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, it was revealed that vulnerable and elderly people who have been shielding for the past ten weeks can finally go out.

Mr Jenrick said people cooped-up indoors for their own safety can spend time with members of their own family from Monday.

It comes as the Government relaxes stringent lockdown laws as the crucial 'R-rate' stays below one.

The rate – which measures the transmission of the virus – is currently somewhere between 0.7 and 0.9.

Once the R rate creeps above one, it means every infected person can go on to infect more than one other person – causing the epidemic to grow.



Below one means the epidemic is starting to shrink.

Officials say that, despite the increased number of tests being carried out in the UK, the number of cases diagnosed hasn't dramatically increased.

And Dr Harries said infection rates have plunged – although the understanding of individual risks with individual diseases is "still a learning process".

During the briefing, the academic said that at the start of the crisis in the UK, the chance of meeting someone with the disease would have been about one in 40.

It is now about one in 400 to 500.

The incidence of new cases is about one in 1,000.
However, Dr Harries said: "Nothing will ever be 100 per cent safe".

'IT'S A CRITICAL TIME FOR THE UK'

Asked whether Brits should be worried that deaths appear to be plateauing rather than continuing to drop, she said that if the numbers are "genuinely plateauing, yes we should be very concerned".

"That is the reason we need to be really, really carefully, not only watching the numbers, but actually watching what we are doing," she said.

"We have to keep applying the social distancing measures, limit the number of interactions we have, very carefully and sensibly pick up those easements to make our lives better, but not overdo it, so limit the number of interactions."

And she warned that it is a "critical time", adding: "We need to be very careful."

Beaches and parks have been packed as temperatures rose this weekend – despite Government officials and emergency services urging caution.

Lockdown has been in place since March 23.

But on Thursday, Boris Johnson announced that five tests for easing the nationwide restrictions had finally been met.

And tomorrow, groups from different households will be able to meet up – as long as it is outside.

At the moment only two people can meet up outside, but as The Sun revealed last week, multiple households will now be able to have BBQs and garden parties to make the most of the summer.

Non-essential shops are also set to return from June 1 and June 15 with plans for pubs, restaurants and hotels to follow.

Last week England's test and trace system comes into force, which Boris said means the country can lift lockdown measures for most people.


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