The UK’s 29 hotspots on Public Health England’s coronavirus lockdown watch list

Public Health England has revealed the shifting pattern of coronavirus infection rates across England, with an update on the areas most at risk of localised lockdowns.

There now 21 areas of England classed as "areas of intervention" where local restrictions are in place to curb the infection rate while the health authority has listed a further eight "areas of concern" which may see future restrictions.

Newark and Sherwood in Nottinghamshire is the latest area to added to the list after a local spike and is now classed as an "area of concern" with 26.3 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 population in the last seven days.

It comes as the UK as a whole marked the highest number of coronavirus cases on a Saturday for eight weeks.

The new authority "watchlist" areas were named in PHE's Covid-19 Weekly Surveillance report dated up to August 11.

It states: "The majority of COVID-19 surveillance indicators suggest that COVID-19 activity remained stable at a national level during week 32.

"Case detections in England increased slightly from 5,019 in week 31 to 5,401 in week 32.

"Increases in activity were noted in the North West, Yorkshire and Humber and the East Midlands.

"At a local authority level, incidence was highest in Oldham, followed by Blackburn with Darwen which continues to decrease.

"Case detections remain highest in adults aged 85 and over and cases in this age group have increased in recent weeks, which may be related to ongoing care homes incidents."

Health minister Edward Argar said the monitoring of regional areas is likely to continue for some time.

He said: "We will review the measures again next week as part of our ongoing surveillance and monitoring of the latest data.

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"I urge everyone in these areas to continue to follow the rules – wash your hands regularly, follow social distancing, get yourself a free test as soon as you get any symptoms and isolate if NHS Test and Trace tells you to."

In "areas of concern" special measures include additional testing in care homes and increased community engagement with high-risk groups.

Out of current infection hot spots, Northampton has the highest rate currently, thanks to an outbreak at the Greencore sandwich factory in the town.

A total of 260 new cases were recorded in Northampton in the seven days to August 11, the equivalent of 115.8 per 100,000 people – up from 34.7 in the previous seven days to August 4.

In Oldham, Greater Manchester, the rate has jumped from 68.7 to 112.2, with 266 new cases recorded.

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Blackburn with Darwen in Lancashire is third, where the rate has increased slightly from 82.2 to 88.2 with 132 new cases.

In Pendle, Lancashire, the rate is unchanged at 84.7 with 78 new cases, while Leicester has seen a rise from 55.3 to 68.0, with 241 new cases.

Other areas recording notable week-on-week jumps include Rochdale, Manchester, Kirklees and Birmingham.

Despite that, the overall picture is looking better.

The report said: "Deaths continue to decline and, while delays to death registrations can impact on the most recent data, there has been no detectable excess mortality in any age group or region."

As of Saturday, a total of 1,012 patients tested positive in the past 24 hours, according to official figures.

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