CASES of the Covid Delta variant across the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area have risen by more than a third in a week.

Public Health England figures show a total of 710 cases were recorded across the BCP Council area in the week up to June 30.

The previous week, 508 cases were recorded across the conurbation.

It is the second highest in the south west after Bristol which has more than 1,000 cases.

Meanwhile, the wider Dorset area recorded 301 cases, which is up from 224 previously.

Public Health England said its latest weekly data shows the number of Delta variant cases in the UK have risen by 50,824 since last week to a total of 161,981.

A spokesperson said: “This represents a 46% increase. Of these, 42 are the Delta AY.1 sub lineage. The Delta variant currently accounts for approximately 95% of cases that are sequenced across the UK.”

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: “Cases across the UK continue to rise and it is incredibly important that we do not forget to be careful. The best thing we can do to protect ourselves and the people we love is to get the vaccine if eligible, get tested twice a week and practice “hands, face, space, fresh air” at all times.

“Although cases are rising, we are not seeing a proportional rise in the number of people who are being admitted to hospital. The data suggest this is testament to the success of the vaccination programme so far and clearly demonstrates the importance of getting both doses of the vaccine. Come forward as soon as you are eligible. It will help us to break the chain of transmission, and it will save lives.”

The number of cases of the Delta variant across the south west:  

Bath and North East Somerset - 220

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole - 710

Bristol, City of - 1025

Cheltenham - 223

Cornwall - 547

Cotswold - 73

Dorset - 301

East Devon - 43

Exeter - 127

Forest of Dean - 64

Gloucester - 303

Mendip - 32

Mid Devon - 42

North Devon - 29

North Somerset - 185

Plymouth - 96

Sedgemoor - 64

Somerset West and Taunton - 52

South Gloucestershire - 357

South Hams - 22

South Somerset - 48

Stroud - 96

Swindon - 184

Teignbridge - 56

Tewkesbury - 172

Torbay - 35

Torridge -39

West Devon - 11

Wiltshire - 394