Cases of Covid-19 have begun to fall again in Halton after weeks where infections looked to be on the rise again.

Infections in the borough fell to just 43.7 per 100,000 residents on Monday (March 29) after weeks hovering around 60 cases per 100,000 people.

The sudden fall in cases will be welcome news to Halton’s public health bosses and could be a sign that the return of children to the classroom has not led to the virus spreading more in the community.

It will also reassure officials that the further relaxation in lockdown rules brought in on Monday is safe and the small increase in cases in recent weeks was due more to a rise in testing than the virus spreading.

Further encouragement comes in the fall in deaths from Covid-19 in the borough.

Halton’s last recorded Covid death occurred on March 19, meaning that by Monday the borough had gone more than a week without a death from the virus.

As well as falling cases, the continued success of the vaccine rollout will have played a part in keeping hospitalisations and deaths low.

More than 61,000 people in Halton have now received at least one dose of the vaccine, equivalent to around 60% of the adult population.

This includes 87% of people aged between 50 and 59, who only became eligible for the vaccine less than a month ago.

While it is too early to tell what effect the reintroduction of the Rule of Six on Monday will have, the fact infections are falling again means it is likely that the planned relaxation on April 12 will go ahead.

That would see pub beer gardens reopen for groups of up to six people and non-essential shops will also be allowed to open their doors again.