Up-to-date local data on the number of COVID-19 infections should be promoted to the public across England in an easy to interpret way similar to weather forecasts or pollen counts, the British Medical Association has asserted.

As lockdown measures are further relaxed, the BMA warns there is a basic need for the public to be able to understand the current threat in their local area. The rate of new weekly Covid-19 infections per 100,000 people for local authorities in England has been published by Public Health England, while the total rate for local authorities are published on the Government’s dashboard.

However, the BMA says that this data is not necessarily easy for the public to find, or presented in such a way that makes them easy to interpret.

Dr Peter English, BMA public health medicine committee chair, said: “Now that this information is finally being published, it is crucial that it is made available to the public in a way that is instantly understandable. People should not have to look hard to find this vital information. In the same way that I can find the temperature or weather forecast in my area, I should just as easily be able to find the current infection rate.