A LARGE increase in the number of covid-19 cases in Cumbria is expected next week say health chiefs.

Officials have made the announcement following outbreaks associated with people returning from abroad.

They are also monitoring areas surrounding the county which are seeing cases rise at a faster rate.

Concerns come as 33 cases of covid-19 were reported in the week ending August 28, an increase of five over the previous week, most were in the 15-29 year old age group.

The highest number of new cases was in Carlisle followed by Allerdale - the city has the highest rate of new cases in Cumbria but it's in line with the national average.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s director public health, said: “New cases remain low, but we have seen several groups returning from holiday who were infected abroad and we expect to see them in next week’s figures.

"Behaving in a covid-19 safe way doesn’t stop just because you're on holiday.

“These cases highlight the fact that in many parts of Europe we are seeing significant increases in infection rates.

"We know from experience we're not immune to what is going on in Europe, and alongside a slow but steady increase in UK infection rates, we must be on our guard.

“I understand that the safety measures can be frustrating but they make a difference.

"Most people should not be getting themselves tested routinely, or for symptoms not associated with covid-19.

"Heading into winter, and with schools and offices reopening, people will start catching colds, but a runny nose and sore throat are not a reason to get tested.”