Anxious scientists fear a deadly third wave of Covid cases with hotspots across England.
Latest data reveals three areas – Corby, Mansfield and Barnsley – have more than 100 cases per 100,000 people – while many others have nearly three times the average infection rate.
It comes as the country is set to ease lockdown restrictions, with non-essential shops allowed to reopen and pubs to serve customers in beer gardens.
Yesterday the UK recorded 40 Covid deaths and 2,589 infections, while the number of people to receive their second vaccine jab is nearing seven million.
Although 297 of England’s 315 local authority areas have reported a week-on-week fall in infections, experts are worried that the virus could make a resurgence.
Stephen Griffin, of Leeds University medical school, told the Observer: “There are areas in West Yorkshire, the Black Country and other regions that still have high infection rates.
“However, many people there cannot afford to self isolate.
“We need to tackle that issue urgently or the virus will come back again.”
Despite the average infection rate in England’s towns and cities falling to around 30 cases per 100,000 – less than a third of the figure at the start of the year – several areas still have worryingly high numbers of cases.
According to Public Health England figures, the 10 worst hotspots are:
- Corby – 127.4 cases per 100,000
- Mansfield – 107.0 cases per 100,000
- Barnsley – 100.9 cases per 100,000
- Wakefield – 97.6 cases per 100,000
- Hull – 87.4 cases per 100,000
- Luton – 87.3 cases per 100,000
- Leicester – 85.3 cases per 100,000
- Doncaster – 84.6 cases per 100,000
- Leeds – 77.2 cases per 100,000
- Bradford – 76.3 cases per 100,000
Pints will be poured for pub gardens, restaurants will serve diners outside and long-overdue haircuts will be sought in a major easing of England’s coronavirus lockdown on Monday.
Non-essential retail, as well as indoor gyms and swimming pools, will also reopen as lives take another leap back towards normality along the road map to ending restrictions.
Libraries, zoos and nail salons will also reopen as greater outdoor interaction is permitted while mixing with other households indoors remains heavily restricted.
Businesses and citizens eagerly anticipated the renewed freedoms, but any fanfare for the easings has been somewhat muted by the national mourning for the Duke of Edinburgh.
Boris Johnson postponed his celebratory pint and Government communications have been pared back to just essential messages after Philip’s death at the age of 99 on Friday.
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