THE number of coronavirus cases in Bury increased by 302 over the weekend which followed the end of free testing in England, figures show.

The withdrawal of free tests for most people in the country on April 1 means the figures are not an accurate reflection of the number of people with Covid.

A total of 64,397 cases had been confirmed in Bury when the UK coronavirus daily dashboard was updated on Monday, up from 64,095 on Friday.

The cumulative rate of infection in Bury, which covers the whole pandemic, stands at 33,767 cases per 100,000 people, higher than the England average of 31,806.

In England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, if one person tests positive for the virus more than 90 days after the first infection, two infection episodes will be recorded, according to the UK Health Security Agency.

Across the UK, the number of recorded cases increased by 142,807 over the last 24 hours, to 21,359,681.

England’s change in testing requirements means the reported number of coronavirus cases in the UK is also likely to be an underestimate.

There were no new coronavirus deaths recorded over the weekend in Bury.

The dashboard shows 716 people had died in the area by Monday – which was unchanged from Friday.

It means there have been six deaths in the past week, which is an increase on four the previous week.

They were among 23,198 deaths recorded across the North West.

The figures include anyone who died within 28 days of a positive test result for Covid-19, and whose usual residence was in Bury.

Daily death counts are revised each day, with each case backdated to the actual date of death, so some areas might see their figures revised down.

Figures reported on a Monday are likely to be lower as a result of a lag in reporting deaths over the weekend.

The figures also show that more than half of people in Bury have received a booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The latest figures show 102,539 people had received a booster or third dose by Sunday – 58 per cent of those aged 12 and over, based on the number of people on the National Immunisation Management Service database.

A total of 136,283 people (77 per cent) had received two jabs by that date.

Across England, 67 per cent of people aged 12 and above had received a booster.

Unlike at local level, the national rate was calculated using mid-2020 population estimates from the Office for National Statistics.