The rate of new coronavirus cases in Brighton and Hove has fallen to its lowest level since university students arrived in late September, according to Public Health England.
In the week to Sunday (28 February) there were 116 new cases in Brighton and Hove – an average of just over 16 a day and a rate of 39.9 per 100,000 people.
In the previous week there were 158 new cases and a local rate of 54.3 per 100,000.
The current is the lowest in Brighton and Hove since Monday 28 September.
Compared to other districts, Brighton and Hove has one of the lowest rates of new cases and continues to rank in the bottom 20 per cent of council areas in the country.
The latest data follows news that more than 70,000 people locally have now had at least the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
But Brighton and Hove’s director of public health Alistair Hill urged people to stick to the rules as the covid restrictions are relaxed in stages.
Children are due to return to school on Monday (8 March) as the lockdown rules start to be eased.
Mr Hill said: “It is always pleasing to report that the number of new cases of covid-19 in Brighton and Hove has come down again this week. We have come a long way from the peak at the start of the year.
“The reduction is beginning to slow down now, in common with other areas in the south east.
“Next week, restrictions start to ease as the first step of the government’s roadmap back to a more normal way of life begins.
“Schools and colleges will reopen and care home residents can have one regular visitor provided they are tested and wear PPE.
“People will be allowed to spend time in outdoor public places for recreation with their household, support bubble or one person from outside their household.
“This is in addition to outdoor exercise, which is already permitted.
“We will all enjoy this taste of freedom after such a long lockdown. But it is vital we do not forget that the Stay at Home regulation remains in force until at least (Monday) 12 April.
“That means you should continue to work from home if possible. Meeting in groups and traveling outside your local area is still not allowed.
“When you do go out – to take children to school for example – it remains very important to follow the hands, face, space guidelines and to limit contact with people outside your household.
“Please do not socialise with other adults at the school gates or meet up with more than one person.
“If the rate of infection goes up again, this will delay the lifting of restrictions.
“The progress of the government’s four-step roadmap also depends on the success of the vaccination programme.
“Over 70,000 people in Brighton and Hove have now received their first dose of vaccine. More people are being invited to book a vaccination appointment as the NHS programme works through the priority groups.
“You will be contacted directly by the NHS or your GP when it is your turn. As soon as you are contacted, please do not delay booking your vaccination.”
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