Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Daniel Hewitt
More than two-thirds of local areas across England are seeing a rise in Covid-19 case rates as the pressure grows on the government to change the rule relaxation plans over Christmas.
Seven days ago, 126 out of a total of 315 local authority areas had recorded a week-on-week jump in rates. That figure now stands at 222.
The leaders of the four nations of the UK have agreed to discuss the plans for Christmas as cases rose across the country with spikes in the south-east of England and South Wales.
Scientists, medical professionals and the Labour Party has called for a review into the policy which would allow three households to mix for five days over Christmas.
There is considerable variation in the level of rates among the different regions of England.
There are a number of local areas currently in Tier 3 where rates have dropped steeply – and areas in Tier 2 where they have risen sharply.
The Government has already announced that London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire are moving from Tier 2 to Tier 3 from 12.01am on December 16.
Other changes could be announced this week following a review on Wednesday of the current system of tiers.
Here are all the areas seeing the biggest increases and falls in Covid-19 rates.
The data used goes up to December 10.
London will move from Tier 2 to Tier 3 at 12.01am on December 16.
The latest figures show rates are rising in all 32 local areas, with the biggest jump in Havering – up from 348.3 to 540.9.
This is also the highest rate anywhere in London, and the fourth highest in the whole of England.
Westminster has the lowest rate – 131.6, up from 91.5.
A total of 15 of the top 50 highest rates in England are currently in London.
Rates are rising in all but five of the 67 local authority areas in south-east England.
Currently 14 areas in the South East are in Tier 3, comprising the county of Kent plus Slough in Berkshire.
Everywhere else is in Tier 2, except the Isle of Wight, which is in Tier 1.
Ashford in Tier 3 has seen the biggest week-on-week increase, up from 220.7 to 496.8.
But the second biggest rise is in Hastings – currently in Tier 2 – up from 153.2 to 396.1.
South-east England is notable for containing both the highest and the lowest rates in the whole of England – Swale (Tier 3), currently on 671.6 cases per 100,000; and the Isle of Wight (Tier 1), currently on 14.1.
Of the 29 local authority areas in south-west England, 18 have recorded a rise in the latest figures.
They include two of the three areas of the South West that are in Tier 3 – North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
In the other Tier 3 area, Bristol, the rate has dropped slightly from 140.7 to 115.0.
Forest of Dean (currently in Tier 2) has seen the biggest rise of anywhere in the region, up from 68.0 to 184.4.
South-west England includes the only other area in England, along with the Isle of Wight, that is in Tier 1 – Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly. Here the rate currently stands at 20.6, down from 25.9 and the lowest in the region.
Gloucester (Tier 2) has the highest rate, up from 159.5 to 222.3.
This is currently the only region in England entirely in Tier 3 of the Government’s Covid-19 restrictions.
Case rates had previously been dropping in all local areas, but the latest figures show increases in four places: County Durham, Middlesbrough, South Tyneside and Redcar &
Rates overall are at a lower level than much of southern England, however.
The biggest week-on-week rise is in South Tyneside, up from 215.3 cases per 100,000 people to 274.9.
This is also the highest rate in the region.
North Tyneside has seen the biggest fall, down from 152.9 to 125.1.
The lowest rate is in Gateshead: 92.1, down from 107.4.
Most of north-west England has been in Tier 3, with some notable exceptions: the six local authorities within the Liverpool City Region; Warrington; Cheshire East; Cheshire West & Chester; and all the local authorities in the county of Cumbria.
Rates are up in 22 areas out of 39 local authorities, but, as with north-east England, rates across the region are typically lower than most areas in the southern half of the country.
Ribble Valley (Tier 3) has seen the biggest week-on-week jump, up from 139.6 to 197.1.
The biggest fall is in Pendle (also Tier 3), down from 289.9 to 233.4.
Burnley (Tier 3) has the highest rate in the region – 298.0, up from 265.4.
Copeland in Tier 2 has the lowest: 22.0, down from 44.0.
Yorkshire & the Humber
Almost the whole of this region has been in Tier 3, except for the city of York and the county of North Yorkshire.
Rates are down across the region except in three local areas: Ryedale, Selby and Rotherham which has the highest rates in the area with 220 cases per 100,000.
North East Lincolnshire, also in Tier 3, has recorded the biggest fall, from 180.5 to 115.3.
Hambleton (Tier 2) has the lowest rate – 48.0, down from 63.3.
A week ago, every area in the West Midlands was recording a fall in rates, with one exception: Staffordshire Moorlands.
The latest figures show increases in 17 of the 30 areas in the region.
Warwick (currently in Tier 3) has seen the largest rise, up from 104.3 to 180.2.
The biggest week-on-week drop is in Stoke-on-Trent (Tier 3), down from 353.4 to 295.3 – though this is still the highest rate in the region.
The lowest rate in the West Midlands is in Malvern Hills (Tier 2) – 39.4, down from 63.5.
As with neighbouring West Midlands, a majority of areas in the East Midlands are now recording a rise.
A total of 23 of the 40 local authority areas have seen rates increase in the latest figures.
The steepest jump is in South Derbyshire, currently in Tier 3, where the rate has risen from 127.7 to 249.9.
All of the East Midlands is currently in Tier 3, except for the county of Rutland and all local authority areas in Northamptonshire.
Lincoln (Tier 3) has the highest rate in the region: 479.4, up from 381.7.
Derbyshire Dales, also in Tier 3, has the lowest: 76.0, down slightly from 80.2.
The whole of eastern England has been in Tier 2.
But from 12.01am on Wednesday December 16, 11 local authority areas in Essex and four in Hertfordshire will be moving into Tier 3.
All of these areas have seen a week-on-week rise in rates, along with every other local area in the region – with three exceptions: North Norfolk, South Norfolk and Stevenage.
These three areas have seen very small decreases.
Basildon has recorded the biggest week-on-week increase, where the rates have soared from 391.0 to 643.2.
It is one of the areas that will be moving from Tier 2 to Tier 3 on Wednesday, and is also the highest rate in the region.
North Norfolk (Tier 2) has the lowest rate: 57.2, down from 66.8.