Leicester-style lockdowns in more UK cities and towns could be only days away.
Government sources have told The Telegraph that the northern towns of Barnsley, Oldham and Rochdale and the city of Bradford, along with Bedford, are top of a “watch list” of locations that could face fresh restrictions to stamp out coronavirus surges.
New data published by Public Health England shows for the first time the number of positive tests per 100,000 people for towns and cities across the UK.
Leicester, which went into its new lockdown on Tuesday, has the highest number of cases per 100,000 at 140.2 for the week ending June 25, with Bradford second with 69.4 cases per 100,000.
Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, said on Monday night that Leicester was being put into lockdown because it was three times worse than anywhere else in the UK. But the PHE data shows it is only twice as bad as Bradford amid concern that a far higher rate of testing in Leicester will have led to more positive results.
According to sources at Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), local lockdowns could be implemented in “just days”, Sky News reported on Wednesday.
The at risk list
The new PHE figures show Barnsley has the third highest rate per 100,000 population with 54.7 cases, followed by Rochdale (53.6) and Bedford (42).
Former Government scientific adviser Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, said these places were “clearly of concern”.
Search for your area in the table below to see the difference between previously published case counts and revisions including Pillar 2 data