A potential for Covid-19 coronavirus cases to “reignite” still exists as many adults remain unvaccinated, a former chief scientific adviser to the Government has warned.

Professor Sir Mark Walport, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We are on the cusp of being able to move to the next step of relaxation, it’s absolutely right that vaccines have been spectacularly successful but not everybody is protected.

“We’ve got 35% of adults who are not vaccinated and 60% who have only had one dose and the truth is the virus has not gone away.

“The mistake that has been made repeatedly really is relaxing just slightly too early. What we need to do is get the numbers right down, it’s important that we don’t act as an incubator for variant cases that might be able to resist immunity.”

He said there are still around 4,600 new cases a day across the UK, adding: “There’s the potential for that spark to reignite, it seems increasingly unlikely, but we need to get the numbers down.”

It comes after another expert said Covid-19 coronavirus rates have fallen to such a low level its is now nearly eradicated in “plenty” of areas in the UK.

Prof Tim Spector OBE, who leads the ZOE COVID Symptom Study, told The Mirror that elderly people who have been isolating for a year and have been double vaccinated “should get out there and socialise” and “go out and give each other a hug”.

And care home residents will, from Tuesday, be able to spend time with loved ones in “low risk” visits without having to self-isolate on their return, the Government has said after being threatened with legal action.

Meanwhile, 3,000 clubbers returned to the dancefloor at a pilot event for 3,000 people in Liverpool.

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