FORTY-three authorities across England have been hit by a surge of Covid-19 cases in the past week, according to official statistics.
Southampton saw the largest week-on-week increase in coronavirus infection rates, jumping 12-fold from 0.4 cases for every 100,000 people living in the city to 4.8 last week.
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London Boroughs have also seen a huge rise in cases[/caption]
Leicester is still the worst-hit but has seen the infection rate drop[/caption]
London Boroughs, Bromley and Islington, have also seen massive spikes, with rates increasing from 0.6 to 2.1 and 0.8 to 2.9 cases per 100,000 people, respectively.
Despite a rise in various English spots, outbreak in locked-down Leicester has decreased by 18 per cent.
The figures from Public Health England also revealed that Kirklees in Yorkshire saw rates jump from 26.2 to 29.9, Blackburn with Darwen has increased from 20.8 to 24.2.
Leicester, which was forced to go into a local lockdown last month is still the worst-hit part of England, with an outbreak three times bigger than the second most affected place.
The city did, however, see its infection rate drop from 141.3 to 116.
The current national infection rate is 6.4 per 100,000 people and 33 local authorities are currently pushing that average.
Leicester, Rochdale Bradford are the worst-hit areas but 53 authorities have seen their infection rate stay the same.
Significant hikes in case rates were also observed in Gateshead, Hampshire, Coventry, Gloucestershire, as well as the three London boroughs of Hackney, Lambeth, Newham.
But just because these areas saw the biggest increase in case rates does not necessarily mean the cases in the regions are spiralling out of control — it could be down to more testing taking place.
It can sometimes be difficult to work out why the infection rate is rising in some places than others.
Separate new figures from the Office for National Statistics showed one in 3,900 people were infected with Covid-19 at any point between June 22 and July 5.
The data from the ONS Covid-19 surveillance study for England suggests an estimated average of 14,000 people had coronavirus during that time.
But the ONS said the decline in cases appears to have levelled off in recent weeks and urged caution over reading too much into the figures due to the low number of positive cases.
During the 14-day period from June 22 to July 5, there were an estimated two new Covid-19 infections for every 10,000 people per week, equating to an estimated 1,700 new cases per day.
The estimates are based on swab tests collected from 25,662 people, of which eight individuals from eight different households tested positive.
It does not include data from those in hospitals or care homes.
This comes as Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced further relaxation of coronavirus lockdown measures on July 9.
Gyms and leisure centres were given the green light to reopen within days, on July 9, as Mr Dowden made his announcement at Downing Street at 5pm.
The Culture Secretary revealed that gyms and swimming pools could safely resume operations from July 25.
In his speech, he said: “The reopening of gyms is the news millions across the country have been waiting for with many people desperate to jump on a spinning bike or dive into a pool.”
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He added: “Our comprehensive guidance will ensure gyms, pools and leisure centres have the support they need to reopen safely for their customers and staff.”
Gyms have been closed since the nation went into lockdown on March 23.
They were unable to open on July 4 along with pubs, restaurants and other venues, because it was believed they had an extra risk.