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Top five Covid hotspots revealed as cases rise across 80% of England

Top five Covid hotspots revealed as cases rise across 80% of England
Blackburn continues to have the highest case rate – but four other hotspots are emerging (Picture:

Five areas are emerging as new coronavirus hotspots in England as case rates rise in 80% of areas.

Public Health England (PHE) data for the week leading up to June 4 shows 251 local areas out of 315 have seen an increase in case rates.

Some 59 areas – which is 19% – have seen a fall and five remain unchanged.

Blackburn with Darwen, in Lancashire, continues to have the highest rate of Covid-19, with 833 new cases, which equates to 557 cases per 100,000 people. This has increased from 437 the previous week.

Bolton, in Greater Manchester, has the second highest rate with 921 new cases – but this is down from 381 to 320.

Rossendale in Lancashire has the third highest rate, down slightly from 316 to 311, with 222 new cases.

But the five areas which are emerging as coronavirus hotspots – with the biggest week-on-week rises – are Burnley, South Ribble, Blackburn, Stockport and Salford.

It comes as millions of people across England have been encouraged to minimise travel and meet outdoors rather than indoors where possible amid fears around the spread of the Indian (Delta) variant.

A pedestrian walks past a sign directing members of the public to a Covid-19 testing centre in Bolton, northwest England, on May 28, 2021. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday that Covid-19 vaccines are proving effective against a variant that has spread like wildfire in India and denied the government was being lax on travel from hotspots. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Several areas in England have seen an increase in testing and restrictions this week (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)
METRO GRAPHICS covid variant hotspots with extra restrictions
The areas in England which have been told to minimise travel and only meet outdoors following the spread of the Indian variant (Picture:

The 10 areas with the highest Covid rates in England

  1. Blackburn with Darwen: 557 up from 437
  2. Bolton: 320 up from 381
  3. Rossendale: 310.6 slightly down from 316
  4. Burnley: 282 up from 120
  5. Hyndburn: 274 up from 175
  6. South Ribble: 253 up from 111
  7. Ribble Valley: 245 up from 148
  8. Salford: 232 up from 116
  9. Manchester: 224 up from 111
  10. Preston: 199.8 up from 120

The numbers show the case rate (number of Covid-19 infections per 100,000 people) from the week to June 4, in comparison with the week to May 28.

The list has been calculated by the PA news agency based on Public Health England data published on June 8 on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

Blackburn, Leicester and Hounslow in London are among the areas which are seeing the new recommendations, increased testing and a boost to the vaccination rollout.

Updated Government advice for these areas says: ‘Wherever possible, you should try to… meet outside rather than inside… keep 2 metres apart from people that you don’t live with (unless you have formed a support bubble with them), this includes friends and family you don’t live with… minimise travel in and out of affected areas.’

Officials have distanced themselves from the idea that these new guidelines echo last year’s local lockdowns.

The health secretary promised a ‘strengthened package of support’ for the affected areas.

Matt Hancock told MPs: ‘I can tell the House that today, working with local authorities, we are providing a strengthened package of support based on what’s happening in Bolton to help Greater Manchester and Lancashire tackle the rise in the Delta variant that we are seeing there.

‘This includes rapid response teams, putting in extra testing, military support and supervised in-school testing.’

He further added the Government faces a ‘challenging decision’ over whether to lift remaining lockdown restrictions across England on June 21.

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