The number of new coronavirus cases in the Peak District has risen, which could see the national park locked down for another two weeks
A sudden spike in coronavirus cases in the Peak District could see its hotels, pubs and restaurants remain closed until further notice.
Two local authorities containing sections of the national park have seen significant rises in cases of Covid-19 in recent weeks, leading to speculation that the start of the summer tourist season could be further delayed.
The number of new confirmed cases in High Peak, a borough which encompasses much of the north-west Peak District, rose from two in the week to June 19 to nine in the week to June 26.
Meanwhile Staffordshire Moorlands, which contains a sizeable area of the south-west Peaks, saw cases rise from eight to 13 in the same time period.
It follows the news that Leicester could remain in lockdown for a further two weeks after a surge in cases led to Government officials recommending the city "remain restricted for two weeks longer than the rest of the country."
Hospitality businesses throughout England are preparing to reopen next Saturday as the country moves to phase three of the UK’s Covid-19 response, with pubs, restaurants, hotels, museums and theme parks among them.
For residents of the Peak District, the restart is much needed: the region received 42 million visitors in 2018, and tourism in the national park currently contributes ?2.3 billion to the local economy while supporting more than 30,000 jobs.
The UK’s lockdown, which has been enforced since mid-March, has forced many businesses to temporarily close operations and furlough staff.
But Boris Johnson has reiterated his warning that some areas may have to wait longer if health experts deem it unsafe to lift restrictions.
The Prime Minister said: "I want to stress to people that we are not out of the woods yet. We are making these cautious, calibrated steps, we are opening as much of hospitality as we can on July 4, opening as much of the economy as we can - some things, alas, still remain closed until they can become Covid-secure. But to make all that possible we have to remain vigilant."
A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “We’re aware that the numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases have gone up slightly in High Peak over the past week from two to nine, but, given the small numbers involved, we do expect numbers to fluctuate on a week by week basis.?
"At the moment we are not looking to take any specific measures in High Peak. We will be keeping a very close eye on trends of confirmed cases in High Peak, as we are across every area in Derbyshire, and will take action if required in the future."