THE director of public health for Brighton and Hove has warned coronavirus cases will increase “significantly” in the coming days.
The bleak message from Alistair Hill comes just hours after it was announced the city will remain in Tier 2 of regional restrictions.
Speaking today, health secretary Matt Hancock announced Hastings and Rother would join large swathes of the country in Tier 3 restrictions following a rise in infection rates.
Brighton and Hove’s health chief is warning residents there has been 61 per cent increase in cases in the city over the last week.
The total is expected to rise “significantly” in the coming days, he said.
He said: “We are very concerned that our local case numbers are increasing very rapidly.
“So I am asking everyone to do everything possible to stop Covid-19 spreading further.
“In the seven days up to December 11, we had 283 confirmed new cases in Brighton and Hove. This is a 61 per cent increase in the rate from the previous week.
“Based on emerging data, we expect numbers will continue to rise significantly in the coming days.
“The increase in cases seen across the South East is affecting NHS services. The number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals across in the region is at its highest since late April, and is rising rapidly in some areas.
“It is almost certain that household mixing over Christmas will lead to greater transmission, more cases and more hospital admissions at what is the busiest time of the year for the NHS.
“It is vital that everyone considers carefully how they can minimise the risk to themselves, their loved ones and their community.
“When making your Christmas plans, please think very carefully about the risks associated with them.
“Please meet as few people as possible, for as short a time as possible, and travel safely.”
Tier 3 restrictions will see the closure of bars, pubs, and restaurants.
From 00:01 Saturday December 19 – the following areas will be placed into tier three:
- The whole of Hertfordshire
- Surrey, except Waverley
- Hastings and Rother
- Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant
It comes after infection rates in Hastings trebled in seven days according to Public Health England figures.
They have risen from 114.4 cases per 100,000 people in the population on December 2 to 372.3 cases per 100,000 to December 9.
Meanwhile rates in Crawley and Worthing doubled in the same time frame.
Cases rose from 41.8 per 100,000 to 102.3 per 100,000 in Crawley while in Worthing the rent went from 25.3 per 100,000 to 58.8 per 100,000.
Matt Hancock said case rates in the south of England are up 46 per cent in the last week while hospital admissions are up by more than a third, adding in the east of England cases are up two thirds and hospital admissions up by nearly half in the last week.
He told the Commons: “It is therefore necessary to apply Tier 3 measures across a much wider area of the east and south east of England, including Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, 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.”
The MP for Brighton Kemptown is warning residents after Matt Hancock announced the latest update to the regional tier system.
Lloyd Russell-Moyle said: “We knew yesterday that Hastings and Rother would most likely enter Tier 3. What we did not know is whether the government would take a “whole of Sussex” approach, or whether it would just be Hastings and Rother.
“People of Brighton and Hove should be warned. Hastings had the lowest amount of contractions in the country a few weeks ago and this virus is spreading westward.
“It’s coming towards Brighton, Worthing and Peacehaven unless we’re extremely vigilant and consider our day-to-day activities.”
The MP for Hove and Portslade believes remaining at Tier 2 was the right decision.
Peter Kyle said: “We can see the threat Covid continues to pose.
“It’s creeping across Sussex and even though we’re rightly maintaining our tier status in Brighton and Hove, we must be more vigilant than ever.
“Let’s keep a lid on this and get to the finish line with our economy as unscathed as possible.”