Fresh coronavirus figures show the killer bug is spreading at an alarming rate in three new hotspots – including one in London.
Stats released today for the last week revealed several towns in England are facing falling cases of the sickness.
The spread is measured by the number of new cases per 100,000 people – with Pendle recording the highest rate in England.
It has 56.5 cases per 100,000 people but that figure is down from 68.4 which was recorded last week.
The rate in Blackburn with Darwen is 54.1, down from 58.8, with 81 new cases and Oldham is third, where the rate has fallen from 75.1 to 54.0, with 128 new cases.
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But worryingly, three new areas have seen a spike in cases in the last week – including parts of London.
Kettering is up from 16.7 to 38.3, with 39 new cases and Redditch has seen an increase from 4.7 to 36.4, with 31 new cases.
Meanwhile Hackney and City of London has reported 87 cases, a large rise from 12.0 to 29.9 cases per 100,000 people.
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The nine areas where Covid-19 are the worst are: Pendle, Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham, Bradford, Manchester, Corby, Kettering, Northampton, and Redditch.
It comes after Government scientists said they believed the vital R rate may be over 1 in the majority of the country.
And parts of the Government’s lightning local lockdowns are now set to be lifted in the north.
The so-called "sex ban" in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire has been relaxed following a decline in infection rates.
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Last month, restrictions on two households mixing were introduced in Bolton, Stockport, Trafford, Burnley and Hyndburn.
Parts of Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees, also under the restrictions, will fall into line with the rest of England on Wednesday September 2.
People who don't live together will finally be able to spend the night together – with restrictions being dubbed a "sex ban".
The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) chaired by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, and England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, met yesterday to discuss whether changes should be made to current rules
Today the UK death toll increased by nine – with a further 1,276 people testing positive for the virus.
This brings the total number of deaths in the UK to 41,436 and a recorded 331,644 cases.
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