The Covid pandemic is “pretty much over for the UK”, a coronavirus expert has claimed.

It comes as Boris Johnson stressed the need for caution despite recent falls in the number of coronavirus cases as he warned that the virus “still presents a significant risk”.

The Prime Minister erred on the side of caution but admitted the consistent drop in cases was “encouraging”.

Asked about the prospect of looking back on the pandemic in October, the Prime Minister told LBC Radio: “We’ve seen some encouraging recent data, there’s no question about that, but it is far, far too early to draw any general conclusions.”

He added: “The most important thing is for people to recognise that the current situation still calls for a lot of caution and for people just to remember that the virus is still out there, that a lot of people have got it, it still presents a significant risk.”

Coronavirus case numbers have steadily dropped for seven consecutive days, providing hope that they days of lockdowns and self-isolation could finally be behind us.

Dr David Matthews, a virologist and expert in coronaviruses from the University of Bristol told The Telegraph that Britain is close to herd immunity.

He said: “In terms of herd immunity – by which we mean the virus has managed to reach everybody and therefore most people will have a level of immune memory – I suspect we’re very close to it.

“Assuming nothing truly spectacularly leftfield happens, then this pandemic is pretty much over for the UK. I suspect we will not see a major surge this winter, or any serious levels of fatalities. 

“The more we close the gap on the last 10 per cent who haven’t had the vaccine, the better we will be. Everyone will eventually meet the virus and it is far better to do so vaccinated.”

The predictions comes as A record 689,313 alerts were sent to users of the NHS Covid-19 app in England and Wales in the week to July 21.

NHS figures show a record number of people were ‘pinged’ and told they had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus.