ONLY two areas of Furness had new Covid cases in the week before pubs and non-essential retailers reopened to the public.

According to government data, there were 14 new cases in the Barrow borough in the seven days before large sections of the economy reopened on April 12.

Colin Cox, Cumbria's director of public health, said there would be an 'inevitable' rise in cases after pubs and non-essential shops reopened.

He said expected the rise would not be evident until the middle of next week.

A number of areas in the Barrow borough and South Lakeland show the virus 'suppressed' with fewer than three cases.

Of the two areas in Barrow with new cases show on a Public Health England Map, there were three in Abbotsmead & Salthouse, an increase in new cases of one from the previous week.

The area had a weekly infection rate of 40 per 100,000 people, above the national average.

Three cases were also recorded in North Walney, the same number recorded in the previous week.

Other areas in south Cumbria including Swarthmoor and Low Furness, Dalton, Roose, Ulverston and Broughton all recorded fewer than three new cases.

Mr Cox has urged people to do their bit to reduce transmission.

It followed a warning from Boris Johnson, the prime minister, that cases, hospitalisations and deaths would rise after sections of the economy reopened on Monday.

The public health boss said: “It’s important for everybody to keep transmission low and keep social distancing in place until the end of the vaccine programme.”

Mr Cox has also urged people to take up the almost instant lateral flow tests soon to be available in pharmacies and already free to order online, which could help to keep the spread of the virus down.