North West has one of largest rates of young people with coronavirus

Rise in cases led to new restrictions being introduced. Credit: PA Images

People aged between 20 and 29 are the age group with the biggest rate of coronavirus cases in England, with more people in their twenties infected in the North West and North East compared to the rest of the country, new data shows.

The statistics cover last week - 31 August to 6 September - when coronavirus cases hit a four-month high.

The rise in cases led to Boris Johnson announcing restrictions which mean gatherings of more than six people will be illegal from Monday.

Young people tend to have a mild version of coronavirus, which is why hospital admissions have not gone up by the same amount as the number of cases. But there is concern that young people will start to spread it to older people and those with underlying health conditions who are more vulnerable to the virus, which could lead to a rise in hospital admissions and potentially deaths.

The areas with the highest rate of coronavirus cases among 20-29 year olds are the North East and North West of England, with just over 80 cases per 100,000 people, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber and the West Midlands, which has infection rates of close to 60 cases per 100,000 among the same age group.

The east and south east of England have the lowest infection rates among people in their twenties, at just over 20 cases per 100,000 people.

In each part of England, the 20-29 age group makes up the highest proportion of cases.

In many other parts of England, the age group with the next highest proportion of cases is among 30-39 year olds.