WE are rapidly approaching the date on which the next step in easing the coronavirus lockdown will occur.

From May 17, as per the Government’s roadmap, most social contact rules will be lifted outdoors, although gatherings of more than 30 people will remain illegal.

Indoors, the rule of six or two households will apply, while hospitality and cinemas will be able to open their doors once more.

Larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is lower) will also be allowed, as will those in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4,000.

Ahead of this lockdown easing in two weeks’ time, we look at the coronavirus situation in Warrington at present.

How many new Covid cases are being recorded in Warrington?

New coronavirus cases in Warrington remain low, according to the latest figures from Public Health England.

Data shows that in the week before April 25, the most recent period for which statistics are available, there were 42 positive Covid-19 tests returned in the town.

Warrington Guardian:

This represents a rate of 20 cases for every 100,000 residents, which is the 137th highest of any local authority area in the country.

By comparison, in the seven days before April 18 there were 45 transmissions recorded – or 21.4 per 100,000.

Across England, 154 areas saw cases numbers drop between these two dates, while 149 experienced a rise and 12 were unchanged.

How is Warrington Hospital coping in terms of coronavirus patients?

The number of patients being cared for at Warrington Hospital after testing positive for coronavirus remains steady.

This is according to the latest update issued by Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

As of Friday afternoon, 20 beds at the Lovely Lane site were occupied by Covid-positive patients, of which one was in the intensive care unit.

Warrington Guardian:

No new deaths had been recorded in the past 24 hours of patients that tested positive for Covid-19, with the trust’s virus death toll remaining at 498 as a result.

Moreover, three more patients had been discharged after beating coronavirus, meaning the discharge total since the start of the pandemic rose to 1,989.

What’s the latest on the town’s vaccination programme?

A quarter of Warrington residents have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, the latest figures reveal.

NHS data shows that 42,823 people in the town had received both jabs by April 25, which calculates as 25 per cent of people aged 16 and over.

Of those to have received both jabs, 36,951 were aged 45 and over – 38 per cent of the age group.

The figures also show that 113,211 people in Warrington have received at least one jab, which works out as 66 per cent of those aged 16 and over.

Across England, 11million people had received a second dose of the jab by April 25 – 24 per cent of the population aged over 16 and over.

That includes 9.4million people aged 45 and over – 38 per cent of the age group.

In total, 28.2million people had received at least one dose of a vaccine by the same date, covering 62 per cent of people over 16.