London 'has highest Covid rate in England' as concern grows over Tier 3 risk

10 December 2020, 15:00 | Updated: 10 December 2020, 16:23

London's coronavirus rate is now the highest in England, according to the PHE
London's coronavirus rate is now the highest in England, according to the PHE. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

London now has the highest coronavirus rate in England, new Public Health England figures show, with the capital edging closer to Tier 3 restrictions.

Infection rates in the city are now at 191.8 per 100,000 people for the week of 30 November to 6 December, according to the weekly surveillance survey by Public Health England (PHE).

However, infections have plateaued across the rest of the country and fallen in some parts, such as the West Midlands where the rate is down to 158.4 per 100,000 from 196.8 the previous week.

Londoners have been urged to follow coronavirus guidance to prevent the city from being plunged into Tier 3 measures.

It comes after Mayor of London Sadiq Khan warned residents a surge in cases means it risks moving up from Tier 2.

Conservative MP Nickie Aiken told LBC earlier on Thursday that London residents have to "do their bit" and stick to Covid rules to prevent the capital from moving up a Tier.

Read more: UK records further 533 Covid deaths bringing tally to 62,566

Watch: London 'going in wrong direction', warns Independent SAGE member

Ms Aiken said: "I think it's really important to send a message to everybody listening today that we have all got a part to play in this.

"Nobody is immune. We have got to do our bit. Londoners have got to do their bit. They've got to wear their masks. They've got to keep socially distanced and be sensible when they go out.

"Otherwise, we are going to go into Tier 3, we are going to have the threat of a further lockdown which would be devastating for all of us."

Covid-19 case rates are on the rise in three regions of the nation, according to the report, with all other regions recording a week-on-week fall, with the South West having the lowest rate of 77.3, down from 91.2.

In Eastern England, the rate has risen from 116.2 to 147.2, while in the South East the rate has increased from 142.2 to 160.8.

Read more: Tui records £2.7 billion annual loss due to Covid crisis

Read more: Economy grew by 0.4% in Oct but still 7.9% below pre-Covid levels

Public Health England's (PHE) latest data shows that cases have increased in 24 of London's 32 boroughs.

Havering, east of the capital, had the highest for the week ending 3 December with 346 per 100,000 people.

However, infections have fallen slightly across all adult age groups, PHE said.

The smallest drop is among 40-49 year-olds, where the rate stood at 195.8 cases per 100,000 people in the week to 6 December, almost unchanged from 195.9 in the previous week.

This is also the highest rate among all age groups.

Infections have risen slightly among five to nine-year-olds, up from 88.2 to 93.6, and among 10-19 year-olds, up from 191.3 to 193.2.

Medical director at Public Health England Dr Yvonne Doyle said: "Everyone's sacrifices over the past few weeks means cases have reduced significantly in many parts of the country.

"However, the decline has started to stall and overall, infection rates remain high so we must all stay vigilant."

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify