More people have died coronavirus-related deaths in Blackpool than anywhere else in the county, new data reveals.

The town has overtaken West Lancashire in its number of Covid-19 deaths, making it the worst affected area in the county.

Figures released yesterday (June 2) by the Office for National Statistics, show that 109 people have died in Blackpool after testing positive for coronavirus.

This includes 82 deaths recorded in Blackpool hospitals, 18 in care homes, six in hospices and three at home.

The figures are based on the number of deaths registered up to May 16, where Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate.

While Lancashire Teaching Hospitals has recorded more deaths than Blackpool Hospitals, the total there would likely include residents of boroughs including Wyre, Fylde Preston, South Ribble and Chorley whereas the ONS figures deal with people in the direct areas.

Blackpool has been overcrowded making it impossible to social distance

Due to these figures the town has now been named as one of the highest risk areas in the country.

Despite pleas to close Blackpool to tourists, with a petition reaching almost 12,000 signatures, the council have now rejected the idea.

Blackpool Council leader Simon Blackburn has now said that creating a local lockdown or closing the beach was "impossible".

He said: "Demanding that the Council do the impossible like a local lockdown or closing the beaches does the town and its residents a huge disservice."

The town has now been named as one of the most 'at risk' areas in the country

In response to the petition, Arif Rajpura, Director of Public Health for Blackpool Council, said: “Using the R value at local authority level is somewhat unreliable because a small localised outbreak can lead to what appears to be a large increase.

“For example, a week ago the R value in Blackpool was 1.6; that has now dropped to 0.5. However, while this provides a useful means of monitoring direction of travel of infection rates, R values are more reliable at regional level. A single R value at a local level cannot be used on its own to inform decisions on easing of restrictions.

“The Government has determined that allowing people to exercise outdoors is a safe way of opening up society. The important thing now is for people to abide by the safe distancing regulations and hygiene advice while they are outside.

“That means avoiding queues where social distancing is not taking place, avoiding gatherings and regularly washing hands. That is the sensible approach to avoiding the spread of the virus.

“We will continue to instil that safe distancing message to residents and visitors to Blackpool, and remind those businesses and concessions that are allowed to open that they have also have a responsibility to adhere to this guidance.

“Ever since the lockdown was announced, we have maintained our stance that Blackpool is not yet open for business. Even when parts of our tourism industry are eventually allowed to open, the requirement for everyone to be cautious and continue to observe safe distancing will not go away.”

Blackpool's Golden mile, at the start of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend 2020

Between the start of the outbreak and May 22, there have been 1,009 deaths recorded across Lancashire involving Covid-19.

Of those deaths, 722 took place in hospital, but one in four were recorded in care homes, with a total of 229.

Separate figures from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) show 11 deaths involving coronavirus in care homes in Lancashire in the week ending May 29.