The UK is braced for a surge in Covid cases as about 500,000 people head to music festivals and millions more to tourism hotspots over the bank holiday weekend.
It comes after cases in Cornwall and Devon reached record levels, with the infection rate among teens increasing five-fold following the Boardmasters festival.
Health officials have warned that parts of the NHS are battling “unprecedented high-level demand,” and that a rise in cases would disrupt next week’s return to schools.
Warm and sunny weather is also expected on what will be the first bank holiday weekend since most coronavirus rules were lifted earlier in the summer
At least eight festivals are expected to attract about 500,000 people across England – including Reading and Leeds and Creamfields.
Pride celebrations are also taking place across the country, with tens of thousands of people expected on the streets of Manchester.
The South West has the highest infection rate of any English region.
It has 46 of the country’s 50 Covid hotspots when looking at areas of about 8,000 people, with the top three all in Newquay.
Officials said more than 5,000 infections could be linked to Boardmasters festival earlier this month, equating to about one-fifth of the region’s 26,000 cases in the week to Monday.