Cumbria's public health chief expects Barrow to remain under tier two restrictions for coronavirus when a review is announced on Wednesday.

Colin Cox, the county's director of public health, said he is concerned over rising infection rates in Barrow, which are now the highest in the county.

He urged people to continue to follow the rules, with the Government to announce a review of which places fall into which tiers tomorrow.

Mr Cox had tentatively predicted that the county would be placed in tier one efore Christmas but he now expects that not to change amid a rise in cases.

Explaining the current situation in Barrow, he said: "The situation at the moment is the rates are going up.

"The weekly infection rate is around 140 per 100,000.

"It's going in the wrong direction unfortunately.

"I certainly don't think there's any potential for Barrow to move down a tier or to move up to tier three but we'll have to see what the national decision-making is like.

"Barrow has been rising up for a little while and we're seeing rises in the rest of the county.

"It's not looking like the best situation."

He expressed concern about the high rates going into the Christmas period, when the rules will be relaxed.

"We've always said what we want to do is go into Christmas with the rates as low as possible," he said.

"It's very worrying we are going to see a relaxation with the rates as high as they are."

Mr Cox also issued a warning with the vaccine rolling out in Barrow from today.

He added: "It's fantastic that vaccination is starting – this is the way we will get out of it.

"But it will take a long time for the vaccine to get to everyone so don't think it's over."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock began a news conference yesterday by saying the news on the spread of the virus was "not good."

He said cases are on the rise across the country – with an increase of 14 per cent in the last week.

The average number of new cases reported each day is up to 18,023 and on average each day over the past week 420 deaths have been reported.

England moved back to the tiered system of coronavirus restrictions with the end of lockdown on December 2, with 99 per cent of the country placed under the two highest levels of limitations.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said the allocation of tiers would be reviewed every 14 days from that date.