BOLTON recorded coronavirus infection rates significantly higher than the national average on consecutive days.

According to the most recent figures collected by Public Health England figures, the town has recorded 733 new cases of coronavirus in the seven days leading up to May 12.

This represents an infection rate of 254.9 per 100,000 people and comes just before restrictions are set to ease on Monday May 17.

This is over 10 times higher than the most recent UK national average of 23.8 infections per 100,000 people.

The borough's seven-day rate up to May 11, released on Saturday,  in which someone tested positive for Covid-19 was 228.5 per 100,000 people, according to the same government health data.

As a result, Bolton has featured prominently in concerns aired by public health experts on the likelihood of the so-called 'Indian variant' of coronavirus derailing plans to ease lockdown restrictions.

However, speaking on Friday Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that although the government is not yet planning further lockdowns in areas with high infections rates such as Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen, the army will be deployed to help with testing.

The rise in the infection rate in the town comes after cases of the Indian variant, believed to have been spread from international travel and community transmission, have been identified.