The Indian variant appears to have had little effect so far on the number of new coronavirus cases in Brighton and Hove.
The latest figures from Public Health England record 50 new cases in the week to Monday 17 May – or a rate of 17.2 for every 100,000 people.
A day earlier the figures indicated 54 new cases in the previous seven days.
The figures for the week to Monday 10 May included 47 news cases – or a rate of 16.2 for every 100,000 people.
Only 101 council areas out of 315 have a higher rate but the rate in Brighton and Hove has remained fairly stable for a number of weeks.
Two year groups have been sent home at Bevendean Primary School to self-isolate after a case was confirmed there.
Data locally suggested that the largest rise in cases over the past week had been among young people.
They were regarded as most the likely to be among the first to take advantage of the new freedom to mix indoors in hospitality venues again.
Brighton and Hove director of public health Alistair Hill said: “Last week I warned that the increase in new confirmed cases of covid-19 in the city was a wake-up call. This week we’ve recorded 54 more cases which is a 39 per cent increase.
“We talk in percentages but let’s remember that every one of those 54 cases is a person – our neighbours, friends, family, familiar faces we nod hello to in playgrounds and shops.
“This week we also started to enjoy a bit more freedom to socialise indoors in groups or six or two households but, as wonderful as that is, it comes with risk.
“Being indoors, with different people, for longer periods of times significantly increases the chance the virus will spread. It’s still safest to meet outside – even when you’ve had one or both vaccines.
“Just because we can meet indoors now, doesn’t mean we have to. Our local businesses have created plenty of fabulous safe and comfortable al fresco spaces.
“But if the weather drives you indoors, keep windows and doors open to let fresh air circulate, make sure to reduce how long you stay inside and avoid sitting too close to other people.
“You will have seen in the news that the variant of concern first identified in India (B1.617.2) appears to be more transmissible and this is causing concern across the country.
“When you are eligible, getting vaccinated as soon as you can is the best way to protect yourself and others from the virus.
“If you, or someone you know, has been invited to book your vaccination but haven’t done so yet it’s not too late, the invitation remains open, do it now. Everyone over the age of 36 can book online or call 119.
“The relaxing of restrictions has been hard won. It would be awful to have to go back into lockdown.
“We must do everything we can to stop the virus from spreading. Let’s work together to beat covid and keep Brighton and Hove safe for everyone.”
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