There may be twice as many new coronavirus cases in the north of England than the south, according to figures recorded by an app.

The Covid Symptom Study app, developed by health technology company ZOE, has calculated there are currently 9,900 daily new cases of Covid-19 across England, not including in care homes.

A spokesman for the firm said the results, based on a group of 980,000 people, showed levels in the north were around twice those in the south.

However, the app's makers said the regional variation should be treated with caution as the number of actual cases was relatively small.

The figures do not include people who are asymptomatic or those in care homes.

Users of the app recorded their health online and were invited to be swab tested for the virus by the Department of Health and Social Care if they reported becoming unwell.

The figures were worked out using the test results and app symptom data collected over a two-week period, ending on May 15, from users of all ages across England.

Jonathan Wolf, CEO of ZOE Global said: "These results are only possible because of the millions of people who are generously recording their health daily on the Covid Symptom Study app.

"By combining physical swab testing with daily digital health reporting we are now able to understand the daily new cases of infection. This was previously a mystery.

"We will be updating this regularly, which will provide vital information to the NHS and Government as we all look to ease our way out of lockdown."

Tim Spector, professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King's College London, said: "This new incidence rate will be capturing the day-to-day change in the disease which means we will be able to tell the active status of the virus within the population.

"As a result we will know whether the infection rate is stable, falling or increasing very quickly which will influence decisions around loosening lockdown."

The figures showed between 800 and 1,600 new cases every day in London, compared to 1,500-2,900 in the North West and 1,800-3,300 in the Midlands.