The figures precede the announcement later Monday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson of a likely delay in the final easing of coronavirus restrictions in England, which was slated for June 21.
A sharp increase in case rates and the number of hospitals, driven by the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 originating in India, is likely to have persuaded ministers of the merits of postponing the final stage of the roadmap to get out of lockdown.
A total of 37,729 new cases of coronavirus were recorded in England in the seven days leading up to June 9, according to Public Health England.
That’s the equivalent of 67.0 cases per 100,000 people: the highest level since March 2, when the rate stood at 69.6.
It is still well below the peak of the second wave of the virus, when the figure reached 680.6.
But rates are now showing a clear upward trend, suggesting the third wave of the virus is underway.
Some 35 of the 315 municipalities in England – 11% – currently register rates above the symbolic threshold of 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the analysis of the PA news agency.
It is also the highest number since early March.
The majority of these areas are in the North West of England, with the highest rates concentrated in parts of Lancashire and Greater Manchester.
However, an increasing number of them are located in other parts of the country.
Two London boroughs have return rates above 100: Lambeth (114.7, as of June 9) and Wandsworth (108.0).
The cities of Bradford (132.6), Leicester (130.1), Leeds (127.6) and Newcastle upon Tyne (107.3) are all above the threshold, as are the cities of Bedford (163.9 ) and Luton (120.2).
In West Yorkshire, Kirklees (123.9) and Calderdale (120.1) are also above 100.
Blackburn with Darwen in Lancashire continues to have the highest rate in England and the UK: 619.3 cases per 100,000 people.
The Delta variant of Covid-19 is believed to be responsible for up to 96% of new coronavirus cases, Public Health England said last week, with a 60% increased risk of domestic transmission compared to the Alpha variant, which originated in Kent Last year. .
While the number of confirmed Delta cases continues to be concentrated in the North West of England, the increase in case rates in other parts of England reflects the speed at which the variant is spreading in the country.
Two regions in England are now experiencing a marked increase in the number of hospitalized patients with Covid-19: the north-west of England, where the seven-day average is currently 246, the highest since April 24; in London, where the average stands at 253, the highest since May 19.
Other regions have yet to experience a similar trend.