Covid cases rise in 80% of areas in England as five hotspots revealed

Blackburn continues to have the highest case rate – but four other hotspots are emerging (Picture: Getty Images)

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 these areas have been encouraged to minimise travel and meet outdoors rather than indoors where possible amid fears around the spread of the Indian (Delta) variant.

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: Metro.co.uk)

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.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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