The website and hotline handling swine flu queries are to be switched off due to the fall in the number of cases.

The national pandemic flu service will be stood down on 11 February in a move that will indicate the outbreak in Britain is largely over. Anyone who thinks they have swine flu will be directed to their GP from next week due to the “steady reduction” in cases.

However, the service could be re-activated within seven days if necessary, said health minister Gillian Merron.

She told the House of Commons: “We have asked GPs to make further contact with people in the priority groups who are at higher risk from the disease and who have not yet had the vaccine.”

Ms Merron said GPs and primary care trusts could now manage the swine flu caseload and the decision to close down the service was taken with the “full support” of professional bodies.