Matt Hancock said 'we need to act in places like Warrington ' where coronavirus cases are rising.

The Health Secretary said it was 'particularly worrying' that cases among the over 60s were going up in the Cheshire town and that local leaders and the government should 'act together'.

The latest Public Health England data on the rolling seven-day rate of positive Covid-19 tests showed 716 people tested positive in the area for the week leading up to October 15.

The infection rate was at 340.9 per 100,000 - putting the local authority area in the top 35 in the country.

In the House of Commons yesterday (Monday), MP for Warrington North Charlotte Nichols said town, which is currently under 'Tier 2 or 'High' alert restrictions, needs to see 'robust evidence' for closures of businesses if it is moved up a tier.

She asked the Health Secretary: "We need confidence that if we will be asked to follow suit that there is robust evidence for the required closure of hospitality businesses, leisure businesses and salons.

"Will the Secretary of State commit to publishing the specific UK transmission data for these sectors compared to other workplaces or are they merely a soft target?"

Mr Hancock said it was 'worrying' that cases among the over 60s were going up in Warrington

Mr Hancock replied: “We published further data late last week on exactly the question that the honourable lady asks.

“We have the backward contact tracing in place that the honourable member for Leicester South Jonathan Ashworth asked for - I apologise for not answering his question on that - and we have seen the evidence from that.

“The critical thing though is for us all to recognise that in places like Warrington and the surrounding area, where the number of cases is going up - and the number of cases among the over 60s is going up, which is particularly worrying - we do need to act, and to act together if at all possible.”

Warrington, Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East are currently under 'Tier 2' restrictions.

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Under this 'high alert' level, different households are banned from mixing indoor in any setting, while the 'rule of six' applies to gatherings outdoors and in private gardens.

People should also aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible.

Businesses such as bars and pubs can remain open but must continue to follow the national lockdown measure of the 10pm curfew for the hospitality sector.

Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru.

Schools, universities and places of worship remain open while weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees.

Wedding receptions are limited to 15 guests, as are wakes, whereas 30 people can attend funerals.

The Prime Minister said areas under Tier 2 will be reviewed every 14 days and a review of the regulations will take place every 28 days.