A leaked government report has identified 20 UK council areas deemed to be most at risk from a new coronavirus outbreak.
It ranks the councils with the highest proportion of positive cases.
Leicester, which has already been put into a local lockdown, was deemed to be top of the list and earmarked for ‘intervention’.
Areas identified as needing ‘enhanced support’ were Bradford, Sheffield and Kirklees.
Another six regions – Bedford, Barnsley, Rotherham, Oldham, Rochdale and Blackburn with Darwen – were said to be areas of ‘concern’.
The classified document compiled by Public Health England was leaked to the Observer and published today.
It is based on coronavirus
testing between June 21 and July 4, with councils ranked by the percentage of people who tested positive.
Last week, local government health bosses were briefed by PHE that the government was considering publishing a list of the 10 councils most affected by coronavirus
The data could be used to enforce more localised lockdowns, councils fear.
The Department of Health and Social Care told the paper it used a range of data to decide where and how to act regarding coronavirus
, saying: ‘We have been transparent about our response to coronavirus
and are always looking to improve the data we publish, including the way we update testing statistics.
‘The list of the 10 local authorities with the highest weekly incidence of coronavirus
is already publicly available in PHE’s weekly surveillance report.
‘All councils in England now have the ability to access testing data, right down to an individual and postcode level. If councils feel they require more assistance with data, of course, PHE is able to help them.’