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Covid-19 Cases in UK now on the rise again

After a substantial decline since the start of the year, the average number of daily confirmed cases is now rising.

A further 16,135 confirmed cases in the UK were announced by the government on Wednesday.

The daily average for cases began to exceed 10,000 again on Tuesday – the first time since 22 February.

The rise in cases is being driven by the more transmissible Delta variant and has led the national governments to suspend or delay the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

The original “roadmap” in England had set 21 June as the date by which all legal restrictions on social contact would end.

This has now been delayed to 19 July, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying it would be sensible to wait “just a little longer” to give the NHS time to carry out more vaccinations.

In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that lockdown easing will be paused for three weeks to allow time for more people to be vaccinated. It means mainland areas will not move to level zero – the lowest level of restrictions – until 19 July.

What do the stats tell us in Wales?

It is thought the infection rate in the first peak of the virus last spring was much higher than was evident from the reported number of cases. Testing capacity was then too limited to detect the true number of daily cases.

The orange and red areas on the map below show the places currently seeing the highest number of cases per 100,000 people.