The number of recorded coronavirus cases in Hampshire increased by 61 over the weekend, official figures show.

Public Health England figures show that 5,475 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 9am on Monday (September 7) in Hampshire, up from 5,414 the same time on Friday.

The health body is now including Pillar 2 tests – those carried out by commercial partners – alongside Pillar 1 tests, which are analysed in NHS or PHE laboratories and which made up the first stage of the Government's mass testing programme.

The rate of infection in Hampshire now stands at 396 cases per 100,000 people, far lower than the England average of 537.

Across the UK, the number of recorded cases increased by 7,749 over the period, to 350,100. Hampshire's cases were among the 38,733 recorded across the South East, a figure which rose by 468 over the period.

Cumulative case counts include patients who are currently unwell, have recovered and those that have died.

It comes after the health secretary suggested young, affluent people have helped the rise in coronavirus cases. 

Matt Hancock implored young people to stick to social-distancing measures as he said that under-25s, particularly those aged 17-21, accounted for a large number of positive cases.

He said “nobody wants to see a second wave” in the UK and that a recent surge in cases was “concerning”.

Basingstoke Gazette: Matt Hancock Matt Hancock

Nationally, there were a further 2,948 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK as of 9am on Monday, following the 2,988 reported on Sunday which was the largest daily figure since May.

Meanwhile, the Health Secretary suggested that mass testing could see people given a 24-hour Covid-free “pass” to enable them to get back into theatres and sporting events where they may need to be in close contact.

He also said that should the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine be successful, it could be rolled out by the end of this year in a “best case scenario” – but the beginning of next year was “most likely”.