THE case rate in Swindon continues to drop ahead of the biggest step in the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. 

Speaking to reporters yesterday, the town’s director of public health Steve Maddern shared his joy at the borough’s seven-day rolling infection rate of 16.7 per 100,000 Covid-19 cases – a drop from 28.4 last week. 

Mr Maddern said: “It’s the lowest we’ve been in a very long time. 

“We’re back in the green, we’re now below the national average but we’re still slightly above the south west average. 

“But we’re in a much better position than we have been and definitely not the highest case rate of the south west, which is lovely to report.” 

There have been 37 cases of the virus across the borough in the last seven days. 

“It is really positive to see,” Mr Maddern said. “We’ve also seen a significant slowing in death numbers across the last few weeks or months, which is really positive.” 

Cases in the over-60s have remained low and the majority concern young adults aged between 20 and 24, and those between 45 and 49. 

He added: “We’re very much moving back into a non-community transmission phase, which is very encouraging for us as well.”

Mr Maddern said the vaccination rollout has been a major factor. 

He said: “Vaccination has played a huge part in that. I can’t necessarily say that everybody has adhered to the rules. 

“But as the rates have shown us, we have managed to lessen restrictions and continue to reduce our case rate.”

From Monday, people will be able to meet outdoors in groups of up to 30 and indoors in groups of six or two households. 

Pubs and restaurants will be able to serve customers indoors, although they will be limited to table service. 

Cinemas, museums, theatres, and concert halls will be allowed to reopen and international travel resumes.

Mr Maddern said: “The key message is to continue to work from home if you are able to and we’re waiting for further guidance nationally on how to return back to the office safely.

“What we need to remember is that there are conditions around moving to the next step of the roadmap (June 21), which include low case rate within our community, no impact or lower impact on our health and social care services, the vaccine programme continues to rollout at the level that it does, but our local efforts aren’t hampered by any variants of concern.”