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A new map shows England's Delta variant hotspots where rising Covid cases have forced the government to delay ending lockdown restrictions.
Professor Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer, showed the map during Monday's press conference, and identified where the number of Covid cases is rising.
The areas shaded in dark brown are the ones where Covid cases are increasing the most, while infections are decreasing in the green regions.
It shows that cases are rising the most sharply in the North and the west Midlands.
There were also hotspots sprinkled further south, towards Wales and in the south west.
Prof Whitty said the map shows cases are rising all across the country and not in any one region.
Professor Chris Whitty revealed the map of where in the country cases of Covid were increasing the most
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He was making the case for why the government is delaying the lifting of Covid restrictions rom June 21 to July 19.
Professor Whitty appeared alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson to update the country on the roadmap for reopening from lockdown.
He said: "The dark colours here on this map are where the rates of increase are greatest.
"But anywhere that is shaded in yellow or orange colours or dark brown, rates are increasing.
"Where they're in green, rates are decreasing.
"And you can see in this map that the increase in the new variant is occurring across the whole country."
This rise breaks the government's third roadmap test on lifting restrictions.
The map shows where Covid is on the rise nationally
(Image: Press Conference Slides)
The test involves whether infection rates are rising so quickly and at such a rate that they overwhelm hospital capacity, putting "unsustainable" pressure on the NHS.
At the press conference it was also revealed that the Delta variant of the virus, which originated in India, is 40 to 80% more transmissible than the Alpha strain, first identified in Kent.
If the final stage of unlocking had gone ahead in England next Monday, the number of people in hospital with Covid might have reached the same level as at the beginning of the first lockdown last March.
Vaccinations continue across the country including at this centre in Liverpool
(Image: Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)
It comes as new measures including surge testing and maximising vaccine uptake will be rolled out in Birmingham, Liverpool and Cheshire to tackle the Delta Covid variant.
The package also includes additional support in Birmingham, Blackpool, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Liverpool City Region and Warrington to slow down the spread of the concerning strain.
Anyone living in those areas is being urged not to travel.
The new support is the same package which was rolled out in Greater Manchester and Lancashire last Tuesday, and in Bolton which has since seen a drop in cases.
Those who live or work in Birmingham, Blackpool, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Liverpool City Region and Warrington are also being urged to minimise the amount of travelling they do in and out of the affected areas.