The 37 COVID hotspots as Boris Johnson confirms 'freedom day' will go ahead

·3-min read

Watch: PM 'stresses pandemic is not over' as he confirms July 19 lockdown easing

Boris Johnson has announced that all remaining coronavirus restrictions will lift on 19 July.

At a Downing Street press conference on Monday, the prime minister confirmed that 'freedom day' would take place next week despite the growing number of cases, driven by the Delta variant.

But Johnson warned that the coronavirus pandemic "is not over" as he said mask use will be advised in crowded and enclosed spaces even after legal controls end.

He said: "It is absolutely vital that we proceed now with caution and I cannot say this powerfully or emphatically enough: this pandemic is not over."

Read: 'Devastating': World Health Organization's horror at scenes of mass crowds during Euro 2020 final

Johnson added that a "gradual return to work over the summer" is expected rather than a rush back to the office en masse.

He said nightclubs and other venues with crowds should use vaccine passports for entry "as a matter of social responsibility".

However, a number of scientists and medical experts have expressed unease about the plans as COVID-19 case numbers accelerate rapidly across the country.

There are now 34 hotspots in the UK.

The exponential growth means that as of 7 July, the latest date for which data are available, 37 areas of the UK had more than 500 cases per 100,000 people.

Those areas are listed at the bottom of this page, while the map above demonstrates the differing case rates across the UK. The darker shades of red show where infections are highest.

In the seven days to Monday, there were 228,189 positive tests across the UK, up 28.1% on the previous seven days.

Hospital admissions, while relatively low compared to the winter, are also increasing. In the seven days to 6 July, there were 3,081 hospitalisations, up 56.6% from the previous week.

Watch: Boris Johnson says 'caution is absolutely vital' ahead of lockdown lifting

As of Sunday, 87.2% of UK adults had received the first vaccine dose, and 66.2% have had their second - therefore the maximum possible protection against the virus.

Here are the 37 UK areas with more than 500 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people

1. South Tyneside 1,308.2

2. North East Lincolnshire 930

3. Sunderland 878.3

4. Gateshead 876.5

5. Newcastle upon Tyne 837.8

6. Hartlepool 809.3

7. Tamworth 764.1

8. Dundee City 747.4

9. County Durham 724.8

10. North Tyneside 721.5

11. Midlothian 721.4

12. Middlesbrough 700.1

13. Barnsley 681.3

14. Rossendale 671.5

15. Hyndburn 629.3

16. Oldham 620

17. Redcar and Cleveland 615.4

18. Wakefield 584.8

19. Darlington 569.3

20. Stockton-on-Tees 567

21. Rochdale 556.2

22. Wigan 550.4

23. Leeds 545.7

24. North Warwickshire 540.9

25. Bristol, City of 534.3

26. Blackpool 526.4

27. Salford 522.3

28. East Lothian 522

29. Trafford 519.1

30. Northumberland 513.6

31. City of Edinburgh 511.5

32. Angus 510.3

33. Manchester 509.4

34. Doncaster 508.2

35. Wirral 507.7

36. Liverpool 506

37. Inverclyde 500

Watch: Hospital admissions could peak at 1,000 to 2,000 a day in England third wave