Coronavirus cases have risen across the UK after the latest easing of lockdown, new data has revealed. The number of people being infected with Covid-19 each day has increased to 2,103 over the two weeks from June 28 to July 11.
That’s up from last week when there were an estimated 1,472 new daily cases, according to data from the COVID Symptom Tracker app.
Experts say the increase is „unsurprising” as it comes after pubs, restaurants and hairdressers were allowed to reopen on July 4.
Prof Tim Spector, an epidemiologist who is leading the study at King’s College London, said: “After months of seeing the number of Covid cases falling in the UK, we are now seeing those numbers bottom out.
„We aren’t surprised to see this happening given the easing of lockdown and more and more people working and socialising.”
He said that the team is monitoring the data to spot any potential new Covid hotspots and pick up regions with a significant increase.
The latest data, based on surveys from almost 3 million app users and 14,429 swab tests, is still showing the Midlands as having the highest number of predicted cases.
But the numbers have been decreasing over the last few weeks suggesting that the localised lockdown and media coverage of the outbreak could be responsible, the researchers say.
However, for regions like the North East and Yorkshire the predicted numbers still remain higher than others.
Figures suggest 401 people in the North East and Yorkshire are testing positive for Covid each day, followed by 363 in the Midlands and 321 in the North West.
It’s estimated that across the country, 26,020 people currently have symptomatic Covid, according to prevalence data.
Prof Spector added: „The virus is not going away any time so it is really important that people are adhering to the public health messages around social distancing, washing hands, and wearing masks.
„We were pleased to see the government taking the decision to rule that face masks should be worn in shops and other public places, as all measures are important in stopping an increase in the transmission of the virus.
„We believe the public should be aware of all the many symptoms of the virus, particularly in the early stages, and we have recently highlighted the need to look out for unusual skin rashes. ”
Leicester became the first place in the country to have tight restrictions reimposed on June 30 following a rise in coronavirus infections.
Its mayor has today urged the Government to lift its local lockdown in 90 per cent of the city – and warned that a further two-week extension would leave residents „very angry indeed”.
Sir Peter Sousby claimed data provided to city officials highlighted that only 10 per cent of Leicester had shown higher transmission rates.
The most recent data from PHE shows that the number of new cases of coronavirus per 100,000 population in Leicester has dropped from 127.2 in the seven days to July 5 to 104.4 in the seven days to July 12.
It was 143.6 in the seven days to June 28, just before the local lockdown was imposed.
Meanwhile, Blackburn is facing a „rising tide” of coronavirus cases, centred on its large Asian community.
Professor Dominic Harrison, the local authority’s director of public health, said the borough, which has an Asian population of about 28 per cent, had 114 cases in the last two weeks and 97 of those cases are south Asian.
The rate of confirmed cases per 100,000 has gone up to 47 per 100,000, up from 31.6 cases in the seven days to July 4.
The authority is third on the list of highest weekly rates, behind Leicester, which has a rate of 118.2 cases per 100,000 and is subject to a local lockdown, and nearby Pendle, with a rate of 76.6.