Parts of Kent recording a rise in Covid cases despite lockdown

Video report by ITV News Meridian's John Ryall

Some parts of Kent are among the only places in the country that have recorded a rise in coronavirus cases, bucking the national trend downwards.

Out of the 18 local areas, six of them are in the county; Ashford, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe, Maidstone, Medway, and Tonbridge and Malling.

Everywhere else, 297 out of 315 areas across the nation, is recording a fall.

It comes as Kent is among areas entering Tier 3 restrictions on Wednesday (2 December).

Medway Council plans to start mass testing symptom-free critical workers, including police officers, firefighters, teachers, prison staff, social care workers, within days.

Leaders of both Medway and Kent County Council says they want to see government-funded  Liverpool-style mass testing of the general population, with military assistance.

Cllr Roger Gough says: "As a Tier 3 area, we would expect this to be rolled out anyway and we are very keen that this be taken forward as fast as possible. Any particularly focused on the high infection area."

(PA graphic) Credit: PA graphic

The majority of the South East will be in Tier 2, except the Isle of Wight which is being placed in Tier 1.

South-east England is notable for containing both the highest and the lowest rates in the whole of England.

Swale has the highest rate of cases, with 557 per every 100,000.

Worthing in West Sussex has the lowest with 30.7 per every 100,000.

The Department of Health said the research supports findings from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) that stronger measures would be needed in some areas to prevent the epidemic from growing and that local tiers should be toughened to keep the virus under control when the lockdown ends this week.