Daily reported Covid-19 cases in the UK have reached the highest level since mid-July, as the Government warns of “challenging” months ahead.
Downing Street has said an increase in infections is expected over the winter and will be keeping a “close watch” on the situation.
Professor Andrew Hayward, epidemiologist and member of the Sage scientific advisory panel, suggested that the current high infection rates could be due to waning immunity from vaccinations, adding that the said the situation was “concerning”.
Prof Haywards explained there is “some evidence” protection against infection is beginning to wear off and stressed that vaccination rates need to improve to minimise pressure on the NHS, and reduce the risk of deaths.
The warnings come after figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Friday (15 October) showed Covid-19 infection levels in England are getting close to the peak seen at the height of the second wave and are mostly being driven by rates among schoolchildren.
A total of 87% of councils in the UK saw cases increase in the week to 13 October, with rates more than doubling in 12 areas of England.
While cases are rising fastest in England, all four UK nations have seen infections go up, with almost a third of councils (120) recording rates at or above 500 per 100,000 people - almost double the previous week (63).
But which parts of the country are the worst affected? Listed are the UK areas with the fastest rising Covid-19 rates, based on the number of people per 100,000 tested positive in the week to 13 October. Images are for illustrative purposes.