Covid-19 cases rates rose in all but one area of the West Country in the latest data available from Public Health England.

Stroud recorded the 8th highest case rate out of 17 different reporting areas in the week ending June 10.

There were 32 cases per 100,000 people, up 146 per cent after the district recorded just 13 cases in the seven days ending June 3.

The news comes as Boris Johnson delayed so-called ‘freedom day’ by up to four weeks after being warned the move could lead to thousands of deaths and unbearable pressure on the NHS.

The setback to the final phase of lockdown was caused by concerns over the rapidly spreading Delta variant first identified in India, of which Stroud has recorded 14 cases.

Addressing the nation on Monday, Mr Johnson said: “It’s unmistakably clear that vaccines are working and the sheer scale of the vaccine roll-out has made our position incomparably better than in previous waves.

“But now is the time to ease off the accelerator because by being cautious now we have the chance in the next four weeks to save many thousands of lives by vaccinating millions more people.”

Experts believe the Delta variant is between 40 per cent and 80 per cent more transmissible than the Alpha variant first found in Kent.

Of all types of Covid-19 cases recorded in the West Country up to June 10, Bristol, Gloucester and Cheltenham had the worst rates, with 79 cases per 100,000 people, 73 and 72 respectively.

Mendip recorded the lowest rate of coronavirus, with 7 cases per 100,000, followed by South Somerset with 10 and Somerset West and Taunton with 12.

Only the Cotswolds recorded a decline – from 21 to 20 cases.

The biggest change appeared to be in South Gloucestershire, which saw an increase in case rates of 330 per cent - recording 52 cases per 100,000 people.