Despite increasing infections, which have reached the highest level since mid-July, the Government is so far resisting calls to enforce stricter measures.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid ruled out immediately implementing the Covid winter ‘Plan B’, which could see mandatory face masks reintroduced, along with work from home guidance and vaccine passports for some venues and events.
Plan B has been drafted as a contingency measure if the NHS comes under unsustainable pressure, but ministers do not believe the current situation requires any additional measures just yet.
The Government is instead relying on the success of the vaccination programme to prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed, and issued another urgent plea this week for people to come forward for their jabs.
The call for people to get vaccinated and take up the offer of a booster dose if eligible comes as more than 300 council areas in England recorded a positive Covid-19 test rate above the threshold for what the World Health Organisation (WHO) deems ‘under control’.
A total of 302 out of 315 areas had a positivity rate above the 5% threshold, with the average rate for England as a whole reaching 9%, latest figures show.
But which parts of England have the worst rates? Listed are the 16 council areas with the highest positive Covid-19 test rates in the week to 14 October.