Affluent millennials and holidaymakers are driving the second wave of coronavirus, the latest data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) suggests.
The ONS investigated the characteristics and behaviours of those who tested positive for Covid-19 in England between July 23 and September 10.
It found that cases were rising fastest in wealthy under-35s who had socially-distanced contact with at least six people in the previous week.
While cases have remained largely static in the least deprived areas – with an infection rate of about 0.1 per cent – they have doubled in the wealthiest parts of regions.
Watch: Household mixing in any setting made illegal in North East as cases continue to rise 'sharply'
The rise in those areas has been largely driven by the under-35s (the graphic below illustrates the rise in this age group), whose infection rate has more than quadrupled since the end of July.
There were increases in under-35s across the board, regardless of area deprivation, but the chance of infection increased in more desirable areas. There was also a slight rise among older people in wealthy areas.
On September 14, the "rule of six", limiting the number of people who can gather to a maximum of six individuals, was introduced – but the new results suggest the latest measures may do little to stop the spread.
Ministers are also under growing pressure to review the "hard" 10pm curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants amid criticism that it is leading to people filling the streets en masse, with crowds pictured piling onto public transport in city centres over the weekend.
Robert Dingwall, professor of sociology at Nottingham Trent University, said: "There is precious little evidence that any of the social interventions in those areas have worked.
"This, of course, raises the question of why the Government is doubling down in ways that will provoke further conflict between police and citizens and inflict yet more misery in pursuit of the impossible dream of total control."
The latest rules are shown in the video below:
However Susan Michie, the director of the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change, said it could be time to close pubs and restaurants altogether.
"These are dangerous times, and it is of the utmost importance that the Government listens to both those advising Government directly and those complementing that advice on Independent Sage," she said.
"The latter have consistently argued that high-risk venues such as indoor pubs and restaurants should be closed to maximise the chance of children being able to attend school. As the chief medical officer said: 'We can't have it all'."
The ONS has been swabbing thousands of people in the community as part of its infection surveillance programme, which picks up asymptomatic individuals as well as people with symptoms.
The chance of testing positive has also increased for people who have travelled abroad. Around 0.1 per cent of people who had remained in the UK in the past month were infected, compared to triple that for those who had left the country.
However, the study found there was no evidence that people working in patient-facing roles were more likely to be infected than other working age adults.
Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, said the Government would "not hesitate" to introduce further measures if Covid-19 case numbers continued to rise, adding: "Anyone can catch coronavirus, and anyone can spread it. We all have a crucial part to play in keeping the number of new infections down and protecting our loved ones."
Scotland has also seen cases soar in recent days, with Glasgow having the highest rate of Covid-19 in Britain on Monday, which is being associated with students returning.
Statistics show that more than one third of cases were detected in the city, putting Glasgow highest in the UK for prevalence at 39.5 per 100,000 compared to 36.7 in Liverpool.
At a press briefing, Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister, said the rise in cases must be taken seriously. She said: "The number of people in hospital is rising, and nobody should be under any illusion about that."
Watch: Can coronavirus affect the brain?