Parts of east-central Scotland have overtaken north-west England to become the UK’s main Covid-19 hotspot, new analysis shows.
East Lothian is now the local area with the highest rate of new cases in the UK, with 595.8 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to June 24.
In second place is Dundee, on 587.3 cases per 100,000.
Hyndburn in Lancashire is third on 547.9, but it is followed by two more areas in the central belt of Scotland: Midlothian (520.2) and Edinburgh (503.5).
All four of these areas of Scotland are currently recording their highest rate of new cases since comparable figures began last summer, when mass testing was first introduced across the UK.
Hyndburn is recording its highest rate since mid-January.
The analysis, by the PA news agency, also shows that Scotland is close to recording its highest ever nationwide rate of new coronavirus cases.
A total of 15,918 confirmed cases were recorded in the seven days to June 24 – the equivalent of 291.4 per 100,000 people.
During the second wave of the virus, Scotland’s rate peaked at 301.9 per 100,000 in the seven days to January 4.
The figures reflect the impact of the third wave of Covid-19 cases, which has been driven by the Delta variant of coronavirus and is now affecting most of the country.
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Of the 380 local areas in the UK, 172 – 45% – are now recording rates higher than 100 cases per 100,000 people.
This is the highest proportion since mid-February.
The current seven-day rate of new cases for England, 138.1, is the highest since February 12, while for Wales the rate stands at 65.3, the highest since February 24.
Northern Ireland’s rate currently stands at 66.9, the highest since March 13.
The surge in coronavirus cases in Scotland is partly linked to football fans watching the Euro 2020 tournament indoors, Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said on Tuesday.
Mr Yousaf told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland: “If we look at the data that’s presented, it’s very clear that it’s skewed disproportionately towards young males, those under 40.
“A number of people, public health experts and others, have commented that that association is probably as a result of greater indoor gathering, which could be an effect relating to watching the Euros and football.”
Some of those fans would have travelled to London in coaches, where there was little social distancing.
In one coach, 20 positive cases had been identified, he added.
These are the 10 local authority areas that currently have the highest Covid-19 case rates in the UK, based on cases recorded in the seven days to June 24.
All figures are based on the latest data published by Public Health England.
1 East Lothian 595.8 (up week-on-week from 190.5)
2 Dundee 587.3 (315.4)
3 Hyndburn 547.9 (484.9)
4 Midlothian 520.2 (167.6)
5 Edinburgh 503.5 (217.2)
6 Blackburn with Darwen 491.7 (534.4)
7 Rossendale 435.1 (335.7)
8 Manchester 434.3 (364.5)
9 Burnley 430.7 (408.2)
10 Salford 416.1 (342.3)
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