- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Coronavirus cases are now increasing in one in three areas of the UK, the latest infection data show.
The government’s new figures covering the seven days up to 11 March show cases are rising in 135 out of 380 local council areas – or 36% of the UK.
By comparison, Monday’s figures, which covered the week up to 10 March, showed the infection rate was rising in 111 areas (29%).
The latest seven-day case rate per 100,000 people in your area, and how this changed compared to the previous week, can be viewed on this interactive map.
South Ayrshire saw the biggest increase of 326.9% compared to the previous seven days.
While the UK’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine has been one of the most successful in the world, and this has been a major factor behind the sharp decline of infections since the beginning of the year, the speed of that decline has been slowing down, as this government graph demonstrates.
The fact cases are increasing in more than a third of the UK's local council areas also offers a reminder that the target dates for ending lockdown are not a given – though it will not be infection numbers alone that drive the final decisions.
Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon, for example, set out plans on Tuesday for a return to near normality by the end of June. Later on, however, she was warning there is “no room for complacency” following a recent increase in Scotland’s daily average of coronavirus cases.
Boris Johnson has also set a target of 21 June "at the earliest" to lift all restrictions on social contact in England.
Watch: How England is leaving lockdown
The UK's latest case rates came as the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it was conducting a full scientific review of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID jab – while adding it currently “remains convinced” the “benefits of this vaccine outweigh the risk”.
The regulator, which approved the vaccine for Europe, is due to offer a further update on Thursday after several European countries halted its use due to reports of some people suffering blood clots following vaccination.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also issued a new statement saying it is also evaluating the reports, but still believed the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweighed any risks.
Emer Cooke, the EMA’s executive director, told a press briefing on Tuesday there was no current indication that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was the cause of the “very rare” reported blood clots.
“I want to stress at present there is no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions,” she said.
“They have not come up in the clinical trials and they are not listed as known side events with this vaccine."
Johnson and Sturgeon have both backed the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Watch: Do coronavirus vaccines affect fertility?