CORONAVIRUS cases in Bolton have soared again - and the town now has the highest rate in the country.

The figures, for the seven days to May 9, are based on the number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in either a lab-reported or rapid lateral flow test, by specimen date.

The rate is expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 people.

Data for the most recent four days (May 10-13) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

Of the 315 local areas in England, 159 (50%) have seen a rise in rates, 140 (44%) have seen a fall and 16 are unchanged.

Bolton in Greater Manchester has the highest rate, with 553 new cases in the seven days to May 9 – the equivalent of 192.3 cases per 100,000 people.

This is up from 84.9 in the seven days to May 2.

Cllr David Greenhalgh said: "Yes, our rates of the Indian Variant are going up, but while hospitalisations remain low and all evidence points to the vaccine holding, the administration’s message to Government is ‘do not lock us down'. Do not take us out of the road map.

“The majority of our cases are in their teens, 20s and 30s. Send us more vaccinations and allow us to vaccinate 18 years+ now, that is the answer, not further restrictions.

“We have been here before. All that will happen is people will travel outside the borough, sometimes 50 yards up the road across a boundary to access hospitality. It does not work. And our hospitality is left struggling again, and on its knees.

“More targeted vaccines please and allow us to re-open.”

Erewash in Derbyshire has the second highest rate, up from 65.0 to 181.2, with 209 new cases.

Blackburn with Darwen in Lancashire has the third highest, up from 54.1 to 107.6, with 161 new cases.

The five areas with the biggest week-on-week rises are:

Erewash (up from 65.0 to 181.2)

Bolton (84.9 to 192.3)

Blackburn with Darwen (54.1 to 107.6)

Bedford (39.8 to 86.0)

Melton (9.8 to 48.8)

The list has been calculated by the PA news agency based on Public Health England data published on May 13 on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

Here is the list in full.

From left to right, it reads: name of local authority; rate of new cases in the seven days to May 9; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to May 9; rate of new cases in the seven days to May 2; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to May 2.

Bolton, 192.3, (553), 84.9, (244)

Erewash, 181.2, (209), 65.0, (75)

Blackburn with Darwen, 107.6, (161), 54.1, (81)

Bedford, 86.0, (149), 39.8, (69)

Selby, 69.5, (63), 61.8, (56)

Kirklees, 57.8, (254), 56.2, (247)

Wakefield, 54.0, (188), 55.4, (193)

Sefton, 53.9, (149), 26.0, (72)

Barnsley, 53.9, (133), 60.4, (149)

Middlesbrough, 51.8, (73), 26.2, (37)

Leeds, 51.4, (408), 44.3, (351)

Wellingborough, 48.9, (39), 40.1, (32)

Melton, 48.8, (25), 9.8, (5)

Hounslow, 48.2, (131), 31.7, (86)

Rochdale, 47.7, (106), 37.3, (83)

North Lincolnshire, 47.6, (82), 64.4, (111)