“It’s absolutely vital as a country we continue to keep our focus and our discipline and that we don’t delude ourselves that somehow we’re out of the woods or that this is all over because it isn’t all over,” he warned.
The places with the highest case rates per 100,000 people according to NHS Digital’s latest data are Blackburn with Darwen (85.3), Leicester (57.7), Oldham (53.1), Bradford (44.9) and Trafford (39.3).
Behind them are Calderdale (32.4), Rochdale (30.9) and Sandwell (27.5) – which has set up its own contact-tracing system in a bid to contain outbreaks and out of frustration with the one run by Whitehall.
Mr Johnson also defended his government’s handling of the pandemic – which has seen England named the country with the highest excess death rate in Europe.
Speaking on a visit to North Yorkshire, he said there has been “a massive success now in reducing the numbers of those tragic deaths”.