A GOVERNMENT scientific advisor who grew up in Llanidloes says he is encouraged by the latest data around Covid-19 deaths and cases.

Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London and who advises the government, was speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday and said that the data was in line with expectations.

And while he admitted there will be a levelling out of cases, he believes the number of deaths and hospitalisations in the UK will continue to decrease.

He added: “We expect them to continue to go down, maybe tick up a little bit next month but only within manageable levels, and so that puts us in a very good position to be keeping to the Government road map – relaxing some restrictions in a couple of weeks’ time and then many more in June."

He said his team still have some concerns about late summer and early autumn but “they’re diminishing”, adding: “If we’re going to see another wave of transmission that’s where it would take place.

"But the data on the vaccines is getting ever more encouraging, particularly the new data which was released just over a week ago about the fact that vaccines, even if you do get infected if you’ve been vaccinated you’re less infectious.

“And so that has pushed our estimates of the scale of any potential autumn wave down.”


While some MPs have called for summer holidays abroad to not be allowed, Prof Ferguson admitted that if the data is reflected in other countries, it is a possibility.

Prof Ferguson said he had not yet booked a summer holiday overseas, but added: “I think if for instance, by the summer, infection levels in France and Italy are the same sort of level as they are here, then there’s no risk associated with travelling overseas.

“The risk comes from going from a place like the UK with very low infection levels and going to a place with much higher infection levels and therefore having the risk of bringing infection back.

"If the two places are at comparable levels and that’s what the EU is saying, then there is no particular risks associated with the travel.”

He added that removing social distancing had been factored into future modelling and that he did not expect cases to rocket – unless there are new variants that could render vaccines less effective – and says it is a 'matter of judgement'.

He added: “The other thing is, of course, so long as symptomatic people still isolate, we are probably going to continue the test and trace system for at least another few months, then that will keep some sort of lid on how quickly infections can rise.”