THE number of positive coronavirus cases in Barnsley has nearly doubled in the last week which could lead to tougher restrictions across the borough.

Figures show that the current number of positive cases per 100,000 population in the borough is 320 yet the average area in England has just 93.

A 402 increase in cases was recorded during the past week, which brings the total number of new cases from Octber 6 - 12 to 790 - an increase that has led to the leader of the council, Sir Steve Houghton to label the virus as a 'genuine threat' to the borough.

Earlier this week he said: “This is serious - coronavirus and, more importantly, its transmission, are a genuine threat in our borough.

“If the rates continue to rise, there’s no doubt that the government will impose more, extreme measures on our borough, and we all want to avoid this at all costs.”

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Since then, the town’s positive case rate per 100,00 has increased by almost 130.

Barnsley, like all areas across South Yorkshire, is currently in tier two of the government’s new system.

This means that people must not meet with anyone outside of their household or support bubble, among other restrictions.