LOCKDOWN easing will ‘inevitably’ lead to ‘an increase in infection’ in Cheshire, according to the Prime Minister.

Speaking on a visit to Cheshire today, Boris Johnson also told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that it is also up to residents to ‘obey basic common sense’ in keeping infection rates low.

“We do expect there to be rises in infection that follow the openings that we’ve been doing of schools on March 8, that will inevitably will have an impact on the overall budget of the virus,” the PM said at AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield campus.

“The further relaxation on March 29, and on Monday April 12 again, we do expect naturally with more mingling of people, there will be an increase in infection — and I’m afraid that’s just a reality.”

Mr Johnson went on to say that it was down to residents to follow the rules to keep new infections low.

He said: “The issue is first of all to what extent people continue to observe the rules and continue to be disciplined and obey basic common sense, follow Hands Face Space and do things in the open air.

“The second thing is to what extent we will have built up enough natural defences in all of ourselves as a result of vaccines.

“The evidence at the moment is quite encouraging that the speed of the decline in serious disease and death is I think pretty clearly now been assisted by the vaccine roll-out.

“The question is how much protection we have and we can’t know that at the moment and that’s why the vital thing for everybody is to go out and get their jabs and get their second jabs, particularly the elderley and vulnerable.”

Currently, more than 60 per cent of the Cheshire and Merseyside population have had their first dose of a vaccine — including 94.7 per cent of Cheshire’s over-50s.