Regional differences in the spread of the coronavirus has been laid bare after it emerged the mid point of infections in the North West is 215 per million and in the North East and Yorkshire it is 225 per million, compared to London where it is 124 per million people. Kings College London researchers found that London, which recorded the most COVID-19 infections at the start of the pandemic, now has the lowest infections rates along with the South East and South West.
The shock figures were unveiled after researchers looked at figures from the Covid Symptom Study, which uses data from from an app downloaded by 3.7million people to track infections of the invisible killer disease.
The news comes after it emerged Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plans to downgrade the coronavirus alert level from four to three were blocked by Professor Chris Whitty.
Professor Whitty insisted the alert level could not be shifted despite the UK easing lockdown restrictions from Monday.
The news has triggered criticism the UK Government is not following the science when making decisions to ease restrictions.
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Coronavirus infection rates are nearly double the size in the North East compared to London
7.53am update: French economy to slump
The French economy is set to contract 11 percent this year due to the coronavirus crisis and more hard days lie ahead until things bounce back next year, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday.
France imposed one of the Europe's strictest lockdowns in mid-March and only began removing restrictions on May 11. Cafes, bars and restaurants were only allowed to reopen for regular business on Tuesday.
Mr Le Maire told RTL radio: "We were hard hit by the virus, we took effective measures to protect French people's health but the economy practically ground to a halt for three months.
"We're going to pay for it with growth."
He said a budget update was being prepared to forecast a contraction of 11 percent versus one of 8 percent forecast previously.