Coronavirus cases in Bolton are continuing to increase, with the equivalent of 192 new cases per 100,000 people recorded in the week to 10 September.
That’s a substantial rise from the 126.2 cases per 100,000 people seen in the seven days to 3 September – a figure that was already the highest rate in England.
Blackburn with Darwen has the second-highest rate in the country – increasing from 61.5 cases per 100,000 to people to 118.2.
Three other areas currently have rates higher than 100 cases per 100,000 people: the Lancashire district of Hyndburn, the Leicestershire district of Oadby and Wigston, and the Lancashire city of Preston.
Data from Public Health England shows a sharp increase in COVID-19 rates in some of the country’s biggest cities.
There are now 94.3 cases per 100,000 people in Sunderland, compared with 34.2 in the week to 3 September.
In Birmingham, cases per 100,000 people have reached 88, substantially more than the 53 seen a week ago.
Liverpool has also seen a surge in infections. In the week to 3 September, the rate per 100,000 stood at 32.9. One week on, this figure has hit 85.1.
Manchester’s current rate per 100,000 stands at 77.4, with Leeds on 69.8.
For context, the British authorities consider imposing quarantine measures on travellers returning from countries where seven-day infection rates reach 20 new cases per 100,000 of the population.
On Sunday, the number of people in the UK who had tested positive for coronavirus increased by 3,330.
A government adviser has told Sky News that the country faces another national lockdown “in short order” unless people abide by new COVID-19 restrictions.
Peter Openshaw, a professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, told Sophy Ridge On Sunday the public “must act fast” to stop the spread of coronavirus.
On Friday, official figures showed the rate of COVID-19 transmission has risen above a critical level that means the infection is growing exponentially.
The latest estimate for the R number across the UK is between 1.0 and 1.2, according to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) – the last time it was above 1.0 was in early March.