Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, said the UK is close to the “lowest level” of coronavirus.
Speaking at a press conference on Downing Street on Wednesday, he said, “We are really at a very low level, comparable to what we were in September last year.
“We work on a typical 7-day average with a little more than 2,000 people who test positive every day.
“My impression is that we are likely at or near the bottom for this level of disease in the UK right now.”
The health minister said the government had the “first concrete evidence” of how vaccines reduce the transmission of Covid-19 in households.
The latest data looking at people who had been given a dose of vaccine found that they were up to 50% less likely to pass the disease on to someone in their household, Matt Hancock said at a news conference.
“We’re looking to see if the second dose has an even bigger effect,” said Hancock.
“We know that the highest risk of transmission is indoors. Therefore, these results are very encouraging in terms of the vaccine’s impact on reducing transmission.
“What it means is that the evidence is mounting that the vaccine is protecting you, your loved ones, and that it is the way out of this pandemic.”
Mr Hancock urged the public to continue to accept the offer of a vaccine after being invited to his own this week.