49 COVID hotspots in the UK ahead of Boris Johnson's lockdown announcement

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives to attend the NATO summit at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on June 14, 2021. - The allies meet to agree a statement stressing common ground on securing their withdrawal from Afghanistan, joint responses to cyber attacks and relations with a rising China. (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / various sources / AFP) (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson is set to announce a delay to the end of lockdown. (Getty Images)

This is not what Boris Johnson had in mind.

On 22 February, when the prime minister announced 21 June as his target date to end England’s lockdown, he likely hoped he would not be dealing with a new variant that has driven infections up across significant parts of the country.

Yet that is exactly the situation Johnson is facing ahead of his announcement on Monday, in which he is expected to delay the end of lockdown by four weeks.

The Delta variant, first identified in India and about 60% more transmissible than the previously dominant Alpha variant first identified in Kent, has changed the outlook of the pandemic.

Watch: Health minister on Boris Johnson's announcement

The latest data, which lists infection rates for the seven days up to Tuesday last week, shows 49 local council areas are above new 100 infections per 100,000 people. A full list of those areas can be viewed at the bottom of this page.

Just 12 days ago, the number of UK areas with infection rates of more than 100 per 100,000 stood at 17.

Around the time the PM revealed his road map back in February, it was the Beta variant first identified in South Africa that was causing the most concern.

However, the Delta variant, which was first detected in the UK in April, has drastically altered the COVID picture in the UK.

In the seven days up to Sunday, 50,017 new cases were reported, up 16,521 (49.3%) from the previous seven days.

Senior ministers reportedly signed off the four-week delay on Sunday. It would mean people have to wait until 19 July for the end of legal restrictions on social contact.

Limits on numbers for sports events, pubs and cinemas are likely to remain in place, while nightclubs will stay closed and people will be encouraged to keep up social distancing and working from home.

Speaking on Wednesday last week, Prof Neil Ferguson, who is one of the UK’s leading COVID experts and whose modelling convinced Johnson to impose the first national lockdown in March last year, was asked if delaying the end of lockdown will make a difference.

Read more:

Have your say: Do you agree with the 21 June 'unlocking' being delayed?

How Boris Johnson first hinted at lockdown delay

“Yes," he said, “because it allows more people to get second doses [of the vaccine]."

So far, 29,792,658 UK adults (56.6%) have received both doses, meaning more than 20 million still need to receive a second jab.

The PM is set to make his announcement at a Downing Street press conference at 6pm on Monday.

Here are the 49 UK areas with more than 100 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people*

Blackburn with Darwen: 648.6

Ribble Valley: 430.3

Hyndbury: 396.1

Rossendale: 373.5

Burnley: 370

South Ribble: 331.3

Bolton: 311.3

Salford: 310.2

Pendle: 288.8

Manchester: 286

Dundee City: 273.9

Preston: 243.8

Bury: 241.4

Stockport: 231.7

Chorley: 226.7

Wigan: 213.3

Clackmannanshire: 211.5

South Ayrshire: 209.6

Angus: 200.5

Rochdale: 192.4

City of Edinburgh: 190.7

Trafford: 189.2

Midlothian: 184.9

Bedford: 163.9

Glasgow City: 163.3

Blackpool: 159.9

East Ayrshire: 155.7

Oldham: 151.8

Tameside: 145.7

Perth and Kinross: 144.8

Renfrewshire: 141.3

East Dunbartonshire: 134.4

East Renfrewshire: 130.8

Cheshire East: 126.8

Leicester: 124.2

Bradford: 123.6

Kirklees: 121.4

Luton: 120.2

Cheshire West and Chester: 115.4

Fylde: 113.9

Staffordshire Moorlands: 113.8

Leeds: 113.2

Lambeth: 112.3

West Lothian: 104.3

Warrington: 103.8

East Lothian: 103.7

Calderdale: 103.1

West Dunbartonshire: 102.3

Wandsworth: 100.7

*figures cover the seven days up to Tuesday, 8 June

Watch: Monday's daily politics briefing