Nine people have tested positive for coronavirus in Middlesbrough, bringing the total number of cases to 28 as part of a recent localised outbreak.

It’s believed all the cases are connected and contacts of those who have tested positive are being traced and advised to isolate for 14 days.

Middlesbrough Council has investigated a suggested link between someone who had tested positive and a town centre takeaway business and decided no further public health action is required at this stage.

The council and Public Health England’s North East Health Protection team are in the process of contacting anyone who used a taxi linked to someone who tested positive.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “This uptick in Covid in the town shows that everyone needs to be careful, but there’s no need to panic.”

A mobile testing unit will be in place on Saturday and Sunday in Teesside University car park, Centuria South, accessed from Wilton Street. The site will be open from 10am until 4pm.

There have been no further coronavirus patient deaths in hospitals in the North-East and North Yorkshire.

Latest figures published on Friday afternoon confirmed the region's hospital death toll has stayed the same.

However, a further person who tested positive for coronavirus has died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals to 29,377, NHS England said.

It is understood the person was being treated in a hospital in the West Yorkshire area.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said on Friday that Preston will become the latest place to be included in a ban on households gathering in homes and gardens.

It follows restrictions being imposed on Greater Manchester and parts of East Lancashire and West Yorkshire the previous week.

Similar restrictions also apply to Leicester, which saw the first so-called "local lockdown" imposed on June 29.

Rishi Sunak has said winding down the furlough scheme supporting jobs during the coronavirus crisis is "one of the most difficult decisions" he has made as Chancellor.

New lockdown measures must be communicated to the right people at the right time and be "crystal clear", the CBI has said.

Reacting to the Government's announcement that restrictions will be reintroduced in Preston, Matthew Fell, CBI chief UK policy director, said: "This has been mooted for a few days now, and when new data comes to light the Government is right to act fast to protect public health.”

The growth rate and R value of coronavirus transmission in the UK has changed slightly since last week - with early indications the value may be increasing.

Figures published on Friday by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) revealed the growth rate to be between minus 5% to 0, slightly up from between minus 4% to minus 1% last week.

The reproduction number, referred to as R, for the UK as a whole is between 0.8 to 1.

In England, the R is between 0.8 and 1, but Sage has indicated it is not confident that R is currently below one in the region.

The R value also appears to be close to 1 in all the other regions.

Ministers have been told that businesses want better communication, extra support and improved coronavirus test and trace services to help cope with the impact of local lockdowns.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) called for more clarity on what will trigger a lockdown and the improvements needed for one to be lifted.

Calling for a "no surprises" approach, the leading business organisation said firms' reaction to the Government's handling of local lockdowns so far had been "mixed at best".