Only 13 areas have significant numbers of new COVID cases, figures reveal

 A social distancing poster raising corona virus awareness during the demonstration.
As part of the unified peaceful mass gathering, a countrywide event to protest against the new coronavirus bill, mandatory vaccines and to reject what protests call an unlawful lockdown, people demonstrate at Southampton Common. (Photo by Dawn Fletcher-Park / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A poster raising awareness of social distancing during the COVID pandemic. (Sipa USA)

Only 13 areas in the UK have a significant number of new coronavirus cases, new figures show.

The government data, released on Tuesday afternoon, further emphasises that the UK is pushing the virus into retreat, despite a cautious easing of restrictions in recent weeks.

The figures reveal the handful of local areas that still have an average rate of new COVID cases in the past seven days that is higher than 50 per 100,000 people.

Just one area in the UK could be considered a "COVID hotspot", with Hyndburn (146.8) in Lancashire the only place to record more than 100 new cases per 100,000 in the seven days as of 29 April - the most recent date for which complete data is available.

Scroll down for full list of places where new cases are more than 50 per 100,000 people

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On the other hand, there are also three areas that currently have a rolling rate of zero – the Shetland Islands, Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar and the Orkney Islands.

Denbighshire recorded a rate of just one new case in the past seven days.

In the whole of the UK, the number of people who had a confirmed positive test result was 14,165 between 28 April and 4 May – down 13.2% compared to the previous seven days.

During the same time frame, there were 92 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus death, a decrease of 37% compared to the previous seven days.

Dr Nolan Arulraj (centre), 40, an acute physician, receiving one of the first Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines to be administered at a vaccination centre in Cardiff on the first day of the largest immunisation programme in the UK's history. Care home workers, NHS staff and people aged 80 and over began receiving the jab this morning.
The vaccine rollout continues in hubs across the UK.

Meanwhile, there were just four deaths within 28 days of a positive test for coronavirus reported on Tuesday.

The latest figures have prompted questions from some quarters over whether Boris Johnson should lift lockdown restrictions earlier than planned.

However, Downing Street insisted on Tuesday that the government will stick to its roadmap for easing England's lockdown.

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The next phase is expected to be introduced on 17 May, with households allowed to mix indoors.

The prime minister's official spokesman told reporters: "The aim of the road map throughout is to be cautious but irreversible.

"We are approaching the earliest possible date for step three and we will say more about that soon."

Watch: PM says there is a 'good chance' social distancing can be lifted on June 21

The latest figures were "in line with expectations, which is hugely encouraging and a credit to the vaccine rollout and to the British public", Number 10 said.

"But that emphasises the need to adhere to the road map which provides that certainty and stability that the public and business have been asking for."

The prime minister said on Monday that there was a "good chance" that he would scrap social distancing rules for good on 21 June – the last date of lockdown lifting plans.

Here are the 13 areas of the UK where the rolling case rate is more than 50 per 100,000 people:

  • Hyndburn - 146.8

  • Derry City - 82

  • North Lincolnshire - 75.5

  • Selby - 72.8

  • Bolton - 69.2

  • Mid Ulster - 67.3

  • Doncaster - 65.1

  • Moray - 64.7

  • Wakefield - 64.3

  • Barnsley - 60.8

  • Kirklees - 58.7

  • Wellingborough - 52.7

  • Bradford - 51.5