Concerns have been raised about coronavirus transmission levels in Cumbria, with Eden placed on the watch list and Carlisle’s cases on the rise.

Public Health England’s map of the areas most impacted by coronavirus, which is updated weekly, has marked out Eden as an “area of concern”.

The district was added to the map of affected areas on Friday.

However Cumbria County Council public health director Colin Cox is more concerned about the number of coronavirus cases in the Carlisle area: “If you get a single outbreak of 10 people in Eden that would show as twice the amount that it would in Carlisle.”

On the number of cases in Carlisle, he said: “It’s now stable but it’s stable at a higher level than it was.”

He added that the situation in Carlisle and Eden is evidence that Covid-19 is still a present danger.

“What we’re seeing in Eden and Carlisle shows that the virus is still out there, it’s still circulating, and it’s still circulating through people who don’t know they’ve got it.”

“Area of concern” is at the lowest end of Public Health England’s watch list, with “Enhanced support” the next escalation followed by “Area of intervention”. In the latter category local authorities can increase testing in care homes or close venues under discretionary powers. Areas of intervention include Greater Manchester, Kirklees and Pendle.

Mr Cox believes the higher number of positive cases in Cumbria may be due to a lack of social distancing and the reopening of more businesses.

“There’s certain situations going on in Carlisle with a lot of people gathering last week, with people going out to pubs and clubs and bars.”

But he supported the Government’s move to make face coverings compulsory in shops and supermarkets.

“Compulsory face masks are something that could make a difference.”

Speaking to BBC Radio Cumbria, he said: “A lot of the cases that we’re seeing at the moment are in younger people who don’t have any symptoms. If they don’t have symptoms but they go and take it into their workplace, which may be a care home or hospital, it can have serious consequences.”

Cumbria currently has 572 confirmed cases per 100,000 people according to the latest figures from Public Health England.