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New animated graphic shows how coronavirus cases are rising across the whole of England

A NEW animated graphic shows how coronavirus cases are rapidly rising across England.

The map shows how the rate of infection has changed across the country since the start of the pandemic – with a recent uptick in infections.

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The map, released by the Government today, highlights local authorities across England by colour to indicate the level of infection in that area.

Each colour is determined by the number of positive tests in a rolling seven day period per 100,000 people – and the darker the colour, the higher the infection rate.

It shows that while cases dropped during lockdown – March to July – they began to rise again in early August.

Initially, Covid cases began to surge in the north but that has now spread more broadly across the rest of England.

England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, today said: “We need to act now”.

Speaking during the first Downing Street press conference since July, he explained: “Through March and April, the graphs get darker and darker, then as people respond to social distancing and as the lockdown happens, they get lighter across the whole country.

“Things are improving all the way through July and into early August then numbers start to creep up again.

“This is the situation we see ourselves in now.”

It comes after cases rose by 2,659 across the UK today, with eight more deaths confirmed.

Yesterday, the number of infections rose by 2,460, while the rise was nearly 3,000 on both Saturday and Sunday – the highest infection rate in more than three months.

The weekly rate of new cases in Bolton stood at 131.1 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to September 6, according to data from Public Health England, with 377 new cases recorded.

It is the highest rate for any local authority in England and is up from 72 cases per 100,000 in the previous week.

And restrictions imposed on the town now mean that hospitality businesses will only be able to sell takeaways and have to close between 10pm and 5am to stop the spread of the virus even further.

The rate in Bradford – the second highest in England – has also increased, from 52.8 to 78.4 with 423 new cases.

Birmingham has the third highest rate in England.

In a desperate bid to quell the spread, Boris Johnson today banned gatherings of more than six people from Monday – which could even see Christmas cancelled.

The PM ordered a multi-pronged attack on the virus after the rise spooked ministers that corona could fast become out of control again.

He announced moves to ramp up enforcement of the tough rules to make sure everyone is following them – or they risk being slapped with fines of at least £100.

And medical experts warned that a second spike in coronavirus was being fuelled by young people failing to follow the rules on social distancing and hygiene.

People in England will be unable to gather in groups of more than six – including children – and if they do they could even be arrested.

The rules will apply indoors and outdoors, after police chiefs said that the rules were too confusing.

Weddings, funerals, workplaces and some other gatherings will be exempt from the rules.

The PM apologised today after announcing the new laws.

He said: “I wish that we did not have to take this step. But as your PM, I must do what is necessary to stop the spread of the virus and save lives.”

And he promised will only keep it in place “as long as necessary”.

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