COVID-19 case rates have risen sharply in Lancashire over the last week, new analysis from Public Health England shows.

Rossendale (up from 76.9 to 316.2 per 100,000 people), Ribble Valley (24.6 to 129.7) and Hyndburn (66.6 to 129.7) are among the areas now recording some of the highest rates in the United Kingdom.

Blackburn with Darwen (281.2 to 416.2) remains the area with the highest rate in the country.

Four of the top five biggest week-on-week increases in case rates are all in Lancashire.

The analysis comes as some scientists have warned that a third wave of coronavirus is already under way in the UK, driven by cases of the Indian variant.

Further easing of lockdown rules are due to take place later this month, though the major lifting of restrictions in England on June 21 has yet to be confirmed by the Government.

North-west England is currently the regional hotspot for new Covid-19 cases, with only seven of the 39 local authorities recording a week-on-week fall in the most recent figures.

The overall rate for England stands at 28.9 cases per 100,000 people, up week-on-week from 22.5 and the highest since April 7.