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Warning over rising Covid cases in some areas – follow live

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Covid still rising in 1 in 5 areas as JVT warns ‘we haven’t won battle yet’

Health secretary Matt Hancock has told the public to “stick at” following lockdown restrictions and other social distancing measures as he warned one in five local authorities had seen a rise in coronavirus case rates in the last week.

“This stark picture shows that this isn’t over yet, the stay at home rules are still in place for a reason,” Mr Hancock told a Downing Street press conference on Friday evening.

“This is on all of us to keep this under control, this is still a deadly virus. We will get through this but we have to stick at it.”

It came as the chancellor Rishi Sunak said the UK’s public finances would face “enormous strains” in the wake of the third national lockdown, adding that he would use his Budget next week to “level” with the British public.

Mr Sunak told the Financial Times that a bill for the government’s £280bn investment in Covid-19 support would eventually have to be paid.

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Hello and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic today.

Conrad Duncan27 February 2021 08:43

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