Kent remains in Tier 3 following the government review of restrictions yesterday (December 16). The next review will be in 2 weeks time.
The extension means hospitality businesses, such as pubs, restaurants, hotels and cinemas remain shut or operating a delivery/takeaway service only.
Speaking today (December 17) Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that following the emergency review for London, Essex and parts of Hertfordshire, which moved into Tier 3 yesterday, more areas will now also move up.
He said in the South East of England, cases are up 46% in the last week. Hospital admissions are up by more than a third.
In the East of England, cases are up two thirds in the last week and hospital admissions are up by nearly half.
Tier 3 measures will come into force for:
the whole of Hertfordshire
Surrey – with the exception of Waverley
Hastings and Rother, on the Kent border of East Sussex
and Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant in Hampshire
These changes will take effect from one minute past midnight on Saturday morning.
Bristol and North Somerset will come out of Tier 3, into Tier 2, on Saturday.
Rates in Herefordshire have also come down, to 45 in 100,000 and are falling, and Herefordshire will come out of Tier 2 and into Tier 1.
Mr Hancock added: “Over 200 vaccination sites are now open in all parts of the UK with more opening their doors and bringing hope to communities over the coming days.”
Virus transmission has risen across Kent with almost all districts in the county having positive test rates among the highest in the country. Swale currently has the greatest positive rate per 100,000 in England. Thanet is 18th in the list.
In Thanet rates had started to drop but are now showing an increase again, although the isle falls below most Kent areas.
Government data shows 134 new positive cases reported for Thanet yesterday (December 16) making a seven day total of 707, a rise of 24.5% on the preceding seven days. A total of 5,465 positive tests have been recorded for Thanet, as of yesterday.
The rolling seven day rate per 100,000 people is 447.4 as of December 11, a rise on the figure for the previous day.
Three deaths within 28 days of a positive test were recorded yesterday, making 17 in the last seven days and 205 deaths reported up to December 16. Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate but may not be the primary cause of death.
Christmas – restrictions eased
Between 23 and 27 December:
- you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households
- you can only be in one Christmas bubble
- you cannot change your Christmas bubble
- you can travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble
- you can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces
- you can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier you are meeting in
- if you form a Christmas bubble, you should not meet socially with friends and family that you do not live with in your home or garden unless they are part of your Christmas bubble
You should travel to meet those in your Christmas bubble and return home between the 23 and 27 December. Anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel on the 22 and 28 December.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Christmas bubbles were maximums not targets.
He said: “The overall situation is worse and more challenging than hoped for when we first set out the rules. It would not be right to criminalise people who have made plans and simply want to spend time with their loved ones. So, we are asking you to think hard and in detail about the days ahead and what to do to most protect yourself and others,”
The PM said the Christmas rules had not been reversed but he urged people to plan for a ‘small and safe’ Christmas. This means small family bubbles, meeting for shorter time periods and travelling as little as possible.
He also said people should minimise contact with others from this Friday to lower the risk of transmission and should, if possible, not travel from higher tiers to lower ones.
He added that with the vaccine roll out he expected things to be better in the country by Easter with families being able to enjoy a normal Christmas next year.
Weekly cases per 100,000 people (Kent County Council data Dec 7-13)
England 216.8 +59.7 vs previous 7 days
Kent 521.6 +164.5 vs previous 7 days
Cases by district
Ashford 615.4 +334.6 vs previous 7 days
Canterbury 570.1 +218.9 vs previous 7 days
Dartford 459.1 +159.0 vs previous 7 days
Dover 634.2 +237.9 vs previous 7 days
Folkestone and Hythe 480.5 +170.8 vs previous 7 days
Gravesham 503.1 +44.9 vs previous 7 days
Maidstone 604.1 +175.8 vs previous 7 days
Sevenoaks 284.9 +141.6 vs previous 7 days
Swale 738.3 +112.6 vs previous 7 days
Thanet 487.6 +81.7 vs previous 7 days
Tonbridge and Malling 471.4 +169.5 vs previous 7 days
Tunbridge Wells 299.0 +102.8 vs previous 7 days
About the data
KCC data shows the number of COVID-19 cases in the stated 7 day period. This provides a better indication of local trends than individual daily figures, which can fluctuate considerably from day to day. Figures are given as a rate per 100,000 people to make comparisons between different areas more meaningful.
To provide a more complete picture of what the data tells us, KCC uses a full week’s data. COVID-19 test results typically take a few days to show up in the data we use and so this can make figures for the most recent days appear lower than they really are. For this reason, they do not include data for the most recent 4 days.
Rates may differ slightly from those published by Public Health England as these are produced as a snapshot in time, and do not include cases that were confirmed later on. Other sources may publish figures for different time periods and so they may not match KCC’s.