The government is expected to provide an update on local lockdown measures in north-west England and Leicester later on Friday.
Measures banning reunions of different households were due to be reviewed on Thursday, a week after they were introduced for residents of Greater Manchester, parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire, as well as Leicester.
Meanwhile, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has warned that the UK will not hesitate to impose quarantine restrictions on those returning from France if scientific advice shows “it is the right thing to do”.
In Preston, local leaders have warned it could become the last area to face government intervention, amid rising infection rates in the city of Lancashire.
The seven-day rolling rate of new Covid-19 cases in Preston has fallen from 20.3 cases per 100,000 people in seven days through July 27 to 32.8 in seven days through August 3. A total of 47 new cases have been registered.
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health at Lancashire County Council, said the city had taken action ahead of the expected England government and public health announcement on Friday.
He said: “We don’t wait for others to tell us what to do here in Preston, we’ve already activated our plans, making more testing available and asking people to avoid social contact. “
In Blackburn with Darwen, the rate fell from 88.8 cases per 100,000 people to 82.2, with 123 new cases. Oldham is in second place, where the seven-day rate fell from 55.7 to 67.9, with 161 new cases, while Pendle is third, where the rate fell from 46.7 to 58.6, with 54 new cases.
The rate in Leicester continues to fall from 62.4 to 52.2, with 185 new cases.
Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak refused to rule out the imposition of quarantine restrictions on those returning from France.
Figures show France has recorded its highest number of daily coronavirus infections in more than two months.
He told Sky News: “It’s a delicate situation. What I can tell people is that we are in the middle of a global pandemic and that means there is always a risk of disruption to travel plans and people need to keep that in mind.
“It’s the right thing to do for us to keep everything under review at all times by talking to our scientists, our medical advisors, and if we have to act like you saw overnight, we will not hesitate. of course not to do it, and we are doing it to protect people’s health. “
French health authorities – Santé Publique France – report Covid-19 cases up by a third (33%) in the week to August 6, and infection rates are increasing in all age groups, in particularly among 20 to 30 year olds.
It comes after the announcement of quarantine measures for travelers arriving in the UK from Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas – with the British being advised against all but essential travel in all three countries.
The restrictions – which mean arrivals will have to self-isolate for 14 days – went into effect at midnight in Wales, with the same rules applying in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 4 a.m. morning Saturday.