Coronavirus infection rates across south east London are falling substantially, the latest figures from Public Health England have revealed as the capital enters the new Tier 2 restrictions.
The number of new Covid-19 cases has fallen in Bromley, Lewisham, Bexley and Greenwich, with the first latter two seeing dramatic declines, but there are worrying signs for those living in Kent.
Today marks the first day of the Government’s new tier system which has seen London miss out on the highest level of restrictions after the month-long national lockdown in November.
And the latest seven-day Public Health England figures paint a promising picture as cases have fallen across the region and London as a whole.
Officials are keen for the public to not get complacent however, as new cases still remain at a potentially dangerous levels as hospitals brace for the winter period.
The figures, for the seven days to November 27, are based on tests carried out in laboratories (pillar one of the Government’s testing programme) and in the wider community (pillar two), and shows the rate, expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 people.
Bexley has previously reported one of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the country, last week recording 270.7 cases per 100,000.
But this has fallen to 209.4, an encouraging drop, after 520 new cases were recorded in the borough over the last seven days.
Greenwich has also seen a substantial fall in cases this week, dropping from 199.7 to 144.8, with 417 cases recorded.
The other two boroughs have seen much smaller falls in cases, but were already sitting comfortably their neighbours and the national average.
Bromley has recorded a Covid-19 rate of 138.4, a fall of 9.3, after reporting 460 new cases of the virus.
Lewisham continues to have one of the lowest rates in London with 101.0 after recording 309 cases.
However, Dartford has followed in the footsteps of some of it’s Kent neighbours, and is now reporting a 236.2 rate, although this is also down from the previous week.
This comes as England has officially ended its national lockdown today and entered into tier systems.
All London boroughs will now see restaurants, theatres, shops and football stadiums reopen under tier 2 restrictions.
This has led to long queues outside shops on high streets as shoppers return for what’s been dubbed ‘Wild Wednesday’.
Nearby, Lambeth (134.3 to 100.6), Wandsworth (122.8 to 101.0), Merton (176.7 to 158.3) and Croydon (162.1 to 126.5) have all seen a fall in cases.
In fact, the majority of areas in England (286 out of 315) have seen a fall in case rates.
Swale in Kent continues to have the highest rate, with 835 new cases recorded in the seven days to November 27 – the equivalent of 556.4 cases per 100,000 people.
This is up very slightly from 539.7 in the seven days to November 20.
Medway – also in Kent – has the second highest rate, up from 417.5 to 521.3, with 1,452 new cases.
Boston in Lincolnshire is in third place, where the rate has risen from 436.1 to 501.6, with with 352 new cases.
After Medway, the areas with the biggest week-on-week jumps are Maidstone (up from 270.0 to 345.1, with 593 new cases); Woking (up from 142.9 to 196.4, with 198 new cases); and Dover (up from 275.1 to 323.4, with 382 new cases).