WITH Covid-19 cases and rates steadily declining, Wiltshire is unlikely to be a coronavirus hotspot next month, a model by university scientists suggests.

According to an interactive map created by experts at Imperial College London, from now until February 27 the probability that there will be more than 100 cases per week in Wiltshire per 100,000 people is 43 per cent.

By March 6 however, it is predicted that this will drop to a 20 percent chance.

There has been a sharp decline in these percentages since the end of January - in the week from January 31 to February 6 the map suggested there would be a 100 per cent chance of more than 100 cases per 100,000 in the area a week. This made Wiltshire a hotspot.

Salisbury Journal:
Map predictions between January 31 and February 6

The map created by experts categorises areas as ‘hotspots’ if they have between a 75 per cent and 100 per cent chance of recording more than 50, 100, 200, 300 or 500 cases per week, per 100,000 people. Hotspots can be identified on the map as the areas coloured dark orange.

With the latest predictions taking us through to March 6, this falls just before the date school pupils may be urged to return to the classroom - March 8.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce the road map out of the current national lockdown on Monday, February 22, which could include further information about schools reopening. 

Elsewhere in the south west, the map suggests there is 0 per cent chance of more than 100 cases per week per 100,000 in Dorset up until March 6, and in the New Forest area a 10 per cent chance will lower to eight per cent.

Salisbury Journal:
Map predictions between February 21 and 27

Swindon cases are predicted to decrese from a 10 per cent chance to six per cent by March.

By the first weekend of March, the model suggests the nearest Covid-19 hotspots to Wiltshire will be Corby, Leicester and Rutland.

Salisbury Journal:
Map predictions between February 28 and March 6

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