Wiltshire is likely be classed as a coronavirus ‘hotspot’ when the second national lockdown ends, according to a model by university scientists.

A map by Imperial College London says it is 99 per cent likely Wiltshire as a council area will have at least 100 cases per 100,000 people by December 6, four days after lockdown is due to end.

The university’s Medical Research Council Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis classes areas with such a rate as a Covid-19 ‘hotspot’.

Most areas in Salisbury have had a rate below 100 cases per 100,000 people, according to the latest Government data – in fact some of the lowest in the country.

But in the latest figures, for the week up to November 12, some parts of our area did see a rise above the 100 per 100,000 rate.

The Imperial College model is based on reported cases and weekly reported deaths, combined with mathematical modelling, which results in the probability of an area becoming a hotspot in the following weeks.

The Government coronavirus dashboard shows Wiltshire has already hit the ‘hotspot’ figure, with a rolling rate of 124.8 per 100,000 in the week up to November 15.

The Imperial modelling suggests the national lockdown is unlikely to have brought it down below the 100 rate by early December.

The Government will be looking at the rolling rate, number of cases and the number of people in hospital with the virus, as it decides what will be allowed at Christmas.

Although Cornwall, Suffolk, the Isle of Wight and parts of Wales and Scotland have rates below 100, Wiltshire is still doing well compared to areas in the country worst hit by the latest Covid-19 wave.

Areas such as Staffordshire, Leicester, parts of Yorkshire and the Manchester area, all have rates of 400+ confirmed cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people.

The director of public health for Wiltshire insisted this week national lockdown restrictions were having an effect in controlling the virus in the county.

She told a press briefing the increase was continuing across all age groups but it was “gradual”.