New Covid mutant strain forced UK into strict restrictions with 200% infection spike

Surging coronavirus rates forced the UK into new strict restrictions today as the number of those infected trebled in a week.

The draconian new Tier 4 restrictions were implemented as southern areas were hit hard by a new virus strain.

Of the 315 local areas in England, 282 saw a rise in case rates this week, 31 have seen a fall and two are unchanged.

Thurrock has the highest rate in the country after seeing the largest week-on-week jump in England, with 1,676 new cases recorded in the seven days to December 15.



Of the 315 local areas in England, 282 saw a rise in case rates this week

This is up from 349.9 in the seven days to December 9.

Basildon in Essex has the second highest rate, up from 566.2 to 924.7, with 1,731 new cases, and Havering in London is in third place, where the rate has risen from 473.5 to 919.7, with 2,387 new cases.

Speaking last night the Government’s chief scientific advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance, warned that the virus ‘has taken off and it’s moving fast’.

As a result, fifteen million people were today plunged into stricter Covid-19 restrictions, with Christmas shopping banned and Brits told to stay at home by law.

Christmas bubbles have been scrapped for a third of the population of England who are entering a new ‘Tier 4’, and for the rest of the country they have been shortened from five days to just one – Christmas Day.



Christmas bubbles have been scrapped for a third of the population

The list of areas placed under Tier 4 rules includes Kent, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey (excluding Waverley), the boroughs of Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings, all 32 London boroughs and the city of London.

Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire and Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring), were all also thrown into the new Tier 4.

The areas with the biggest week-on-week jumps other than Thurrock are Rochford (up from 232.4 to 747.4, with 653 new cases); Epping Forest (up from 337.9 to 835.3, with 1,100 new cases); and Havering (up from 473.5 to 919.7, with 2,387 new cases).



The Government’s chief scientific advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance, warned that the virus ‘has taken off and it’s moving fast’

Epidemiologist John Edmunds, a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said: «This is the worst moment of the epidemic because of the extraordinary infectivity of the new strain.

«This strain has been increasing exponentially during the lockdown and during the tier 3 restrictions that Kent and other parts of the South East have been under.

«Although the lockdown was enough to bring cases down elsewhere, it was not enough to stop this strain from spreading rapidly. We will need much more severe measures to bring the incidence down.»

The list in full

The figures below, for the seven days to December 15, are based on tests carried out in laboratories (pillar one of the Government’s testing programme) and in the wider community (pillar two). 

The rate is expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 people.

Thurrock, 961.3, (1676), 349.9, (610)

Basildon, 924.7, (1731), 566.2, (1060)

Havering, 919.7, (2387), 473.5, (1229)

Medway, 919.4, (2561), 606.3, (1689)

Swale, 870.2, (1306), 655.0, (983)

Epping Forest, 835.3, (1100), 337.9, (445)

Ashford, 795.2, (1034), 388.4, (505)

Redbridge, 790.6, (2413), 364.0, (1111)

Brentwood, 788.1, (607), 368.7, (284)

Barking and Dagenham, 759.5, (1617), 366.8, (781)

Rochford, 747.4, (653), 232.4, (203)

Hastings, 712.3, (660), 348.6, (323)

Maidstone, 706.5, (1214), 465.0, (799)

Broxbourne, 693.9, (675), 357.7, (348)

Dover, 681.4, (805), 479.1, (566)

Enfield, 642.6, (2145), 306.5, (1023)

Castle Point, 638.4, (577), 272.2, (246)

Bexley, 638.0, (1584), 293.6, (729)

Gravesham, 635.9, (680), 461.9, (494)

Waltham Forest, 635.4, (1760), 366.8, (1016)

Canterbury, 620.9, (1027), 419.6, (694)

Thanet, 613.7, (871), 415.7, (590)

Dartford, 604.8, (681), 311.7, (351)

Newham, 601.5, (2124), 307.5, (1086)

Folkestone and Hythe, 597.4, (675), 380.5, (430)

Tonbridge and Malling, 588.7, (778), 348.8, (461)

Tower Hamlets, 579.2, (1881), 286.4, (930)

Southend-on-Sea, 578.3, (1059), 287.8, (527)

Braintree, 508.5, (776), 227.4, (347)

Rother, 496.5, (477), 239.4, (230)

Bromley, 482.9, (1605), 226.9, (754)

Chelmsford, 482.7, (861), 228.2, (407)

Harlow, 469.8, (409), 251.5, (219)

Haringey, 467.9, (1257), 228.2, (613)

Hackney and City of London, 465.2, (1353), 224.2, (652)

Slough, 461.4, (690), 284.9, (426)

Harrow, 453.5, (1139), 245.7, (617)

Milton Keynes, 450.2, (1213), 217.8, (587)

Kingston upon Thames, 448.4, (796), 254.6, (452)

Sutton, 446.8, (922), 214.2, (442)

Greenwich, 445.2, (1282), 225.7, (650)

Croydon, 441.7, (1708), 197.8, (765)

Merton, 436.2, (901), 238.2, (492)

Hertsmere, 413.7, (434), 209.7, (220)

Boston, 411.8, (289), 423.2, (297)

Lewisham, 408.7, (1250), 168.7, (516)

Luton, 399.4, (851), 289.6, (617)

Watford, 397.6, (384), 248.5, (240)

Lambeth, 395.1, (1288), 154.6, (504)

Sevenoaks, 384.3, (464), 169.8, (205)

Lincoln, 383.7, (381), 507.6, (504)

Wandsworth, 380.1, (1253), 155.9, (514)

Burnley, 372.2, (331), 287.9, (256)

Hillingdon, 371.2, (1139), 207.6, (637)

Islington, 369.9, (897), 145.2, (352)

Southwark, 369.2, (1177), 165.3, (527)

Barnet, 363.3, (1438), 194.5, (770)

Tandridge, 363.1, (320), 182.7, (161)

Maldon, 362.0, (235), 186.4, (121)

Surrey Heath, 351.6, (314), 146.7, (131)

Stoke-on-Trent, 348.7, (894), 288.6, (740)

Brent, 346.9, (1144), 185.3, (611)

Hounslow, 346.6, (941), 187.1, (508)

Bedford, 342.8, (594), 150.6, (261)

Peterborough, 342.6, (693), 233.9, (473)

Woking, 340.3, (343), 243.1, (245)

East Staffordshire, 337.4, (404), 252.2, (302)

Spelthorne, 335.5, (335), 201.3, (201)

Tunbridge Wells, 331.9, (394), 244.3, (290)

Epsom and Ewell, 329.9, (266), 156.3, (126)

West Lindsey, 329.3, (315), 237.3, (227)

Reading, 328.8, (532), 198.4, (321)

Ealing, 326.8, (1117), 181.4, (620)

South Bucks, 324.1, (227), 165.6, (116)

Three Rivers, 323.6, (302), 151.1, (141)

Aylesbury Vale, 318.9, (636), 186.0, (371)

Hammersmith and Fulham, 312.7, (579), 138.8, (257)

Bracknell Forest, 312.5, (383), 199.9, (245)

Richmond upon Thames, 310.1, (614), 115.6, (229)

South Tyneside, 308.7, (466), 255.0, (385)

Central Bedfordshire, 307.6, (888), 169.8, (490)

Runnymede, 306.4, (274), 258.3, (231)

Pendle, 305.1, (281), 250.8, (231)

Rushmoor, 302.3, (286), 120.5, (114)

Havant, 298.7, (377), 172.7, (218)

Wolverhampton, 287.1, (756), 255.5, (673)

Reigate and Banstead, 286.4, (426), 113.6, (169)

Leicester, 283.2, (1003), 240.2, (851)

Wycombe, 278.9, (487), 163.8, (286)

Portsmouth, 277.8, (597), 177.8, (382)

Kensington and Chelsea, 263.9, (412), 134.5, (210)

Rugby, 263.5, (287), 123.9, (135)

Rotherham, 261.9, (695), 188.4, (500)

Camden, 260.0, (702), 121.1, (327)

Wokingham, 259.5, (444), 163.6, (280)

Hyndburn, 257.9, (209), 188.8, (153)

Westminster, 256.8, (671), 106.0, (277)

Northampton, 252.0, (566), 223.9, (503)

Mansfield, 251.6, (275), 118.9, (130)

Blackburn with Darwen, 250.5, (375), 257.2, (385)

East Hertfordshire, 248.4, (372), 150.3, (225)

Ribble Valley, 248.0, (151), 180.7, (110)

Gedling, 247.7, (292), 145.9, (172)

Oxford, 247.3, (377), 137.7, (210)

Bassetlaw, 246.9, (290), 230.7, (271)

Scarborough, 246.4, (268), 166.4, (181)

South Derbyshire, 245.2, (263), 201.4, (216)

Dacorum, 244.9, (379), 158.3, (245)

St Albans, 244.5, (363), 129.3, (192)

Hartlepool, 244.5, (229), 242.4, (227)

Oadby and Wigston, 243.8, (139), 342.0, (195)

Rossendale, 243.4, (174), 204.2, (146)

West Berkshire, 243.0, (385), 97.8, (155)

Elmbridge, 242.7, (332), 127.2, (174)

Staffordshire Moorlands, 240.8, (237), 189.0, (186)

Sandwell, 240.5, (790), 197.6, (649)

Wealden, 239.0, (386), 120.1, (194)

Uttlesford, 238.8, (218), 118.3, (108)

Eastbourne, 237.1, (246), 75.2, (78)

Birmingham, 236.6, (2702), 199.8, (2281)

Bolsover, 234.6, (189), 191.2, (154)

Cannock Chase, 232.2, (234), 185.6, (187)

Mole Valley, 229.2, (200), 82.5, (72)

Bromsgrove, 228.3, (228), 130.2, (130)

Ipswich, 227.9, (312), 176.8, (242)

Amber Valley, 227.1, (291), 167.0, (214)

Preston, 226.4, (324), 208.2, (298)

Derby, 223.9, (576), 167.5, (431)

Guildford, 222.8, (332), 116.1, (173)

Gloucester, 222.3, (287), 198.3, (256)

Wellingborough, 222.1, (177), 124.2, (99)

Cherwell, 221.9, (334), 109.6, (165)

Doncaster, 221.6, (691), 187.9, (586)

Stevenage, 219.7, (193), 109.3, (96)

Stafford, 217.8, (299), 232.4, (319)

Newcastle-under-Lyme, 216.3, (280), 184.6, (239)

Dudley, 216.1, (695), 193.7, (623)

Rochdale, 215.4, (479), 198.3, (441)

Walsall, 214.4, (612), 173.0, (494)

Blaby, 213.7, (217), 216.7, (220)

Middlesbrough, 212.8, (300), 201.4, (284)

Welwyn Hatfield, 212.1, (261), 121.9, (150)

Kingston upon Hull, City of, 212.1, (551), 197.9, (514)

Mid Sussex, 211.2, (319), 100.0, (151)

Warwick, 209.4, (301), 163.5, (235)

Windsor and Maidenhead, 205.4, (311), 110.9, (168)

North Kesteven, 205.3, (240), 254.0, (297)

Oldham, 204.1, (484), 157.7, (374)

South Kesteven, 202.9, (289), 172.0, (245)

Chorley, 202.2, (239), 204.7, (242)

Newark and Sherwood, 201.8, (247), 165.0, (202)

Eden, 200.9, (107), 78.9, (42)

Chiltern, 200.2, (192), 140.7, (135)

South Northamptonshire, 199.0, (188), 116.4, (110)

Bury, 194.8, (372), 222.0, (424)

South Holland, 194.7, (185), 114.7, (109)

Nottingham, 194.1, (646), 147.8, (492)

Crawley, 193.9, (218), 94.3, (106)

Nuneaton and Bedworth, 193.3, (251), 170.2, (221)

North Lincolnshire, 192.7, (332), 164.8, (284)

Ashfield, 190.7, (244), 163.4, (209)

Coventry, 190.6, (708), 144.5, (537)

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, 190.2, (288), 113.0, (171)

Forest of Dean, 190.1, (165), 146.3, (127)

Warrington, 190.0, (399), 125.2, (263)

South Staffordshire, 189.4, (213), 155.6, (175)

Broadland, 187.3, (245), 108.6, (142)

Stockton-on-Tees, 186.5, (368), 156.6, (309)

Great Yarmouth, 186.2, (185), 138.9, (138)

North Hertfordshire, 185.7, (248), 107.8, (144)

Waverley, 185.2, (234), 87.9, (111)

Colchester, 183.9, (358), 98.6, (192)

South Gloucestershire, 181.3, (517), 134.7, (384)

Northumberland, 181.1, (584), 159.4, (514)

West Lancashire, 179.3, (205), 140.0, (160)

Lancaster, 178.7, (261), 84.9, (124)

Lichfield, 178.5, (187), 157.5, (165)

Tendring, 178.1, (261), 92.8, (136)

Solihull, 177.5, (384), 153.9, (333)

South Lakeland, 175.1, (184), 98.0, (103)

Fenland, 174.8, (178), 115.9, (118)

Cheshire West and Chester, 174.6, (599), 102.6, (352)

Melton, 173.8, (89), 246.1, (126)

Manchester, 172.0, (951), 176.7, (977)

North Devon, 171.9, (167), 91.6, (89)

South Cambridgeshire, 171.6, (273), 74.2, (118)

Darlington, 171.3, (183), 199.4, (213)

Arun, 171.1, (275), 81.5, (131)

Bradford, 171.0, (923), 177.9, (960)

Barnsley, 170.9, (422), 136.9, (338)

Lewes, 168.5, (174), 63.9, (66)

Babergh, 168.4, (155), 79.3, (73)

Charnwood, 167.9, (312), 129.7, (241)

Wigan, 167.6, (551), 173.4, (570)

Norwich, 167.2, (235), 151.5, (213)

Kirklees, 166.2, (731), 164.2, (722)

Newcastle upon Tyne, 165.8, (502), 112.3, (340)

Hinckley and Bosworth, 165.3, (187), 122.9, (139)

Blackpool, 164.9, (230), 150.6, (210)

Hart, 164.8, (160), 98.9, (96)

East Lindsey, 164.4, (233), 170.0, (241)

South Ribble, 164.3, (182), 192.3, (213)

West Devon, 163.1, (91), 78.9, (44)

Salford, 163.0, (422), 136.8, (354)

County Durham, 161.7, (857), 154.5, (819)

North East Derbyshire, 160.7, (163), 114.3, (116)

Carlisle, 159.2, (173), 97.5, (106)

Gosport, 159.1, (135), 119.1, (101)

Calderdale, 158.9, (336), 171.7, (363)

Adur, 158.6, (102), 51.3, (33)

Chesterfield, 158.2, (166), 127.7, (134)

Brighton and Hove, 156.8, (456), 68.8, (200)

East Riding of Yorkshire, 155.9, (532), 122.2, (417)

Swindon, 154.8, (344), 107.6, (239)

Sheffield, 154.6, (904), 133.4, (780)

Vale of White Horse, 154.4, (210), 70.6, (96)

Fareham, 154.0, (179), 90.3, (105)

Wakefield, 153.9, (536), 161.1, (561)

East Devon, 153.8, (225), 110.7, (162)

Wyre, 152.6, (171), 97.2, (109)

Kettering, 152.3, (155), 80.6, (82)

Bolton, 151.6, (436), 147.1, (423)

Redditch, 151.3, (129), 114.9, (98)

Sedgemoor, 151.0, (186), 85.2, (105)

Cambridge, 149.8, (187), 80.1, (100)

Telford and Wrekin, 148.5, (267), 118.4, (213)

Broxtowe, 148.2, (169), 114.9, (131)

Sunderland, 146.6, (407), 168.9, (469)

Breckland, 143.6, (201), 74.3, (104)

Stroud, 143.4, (172), 89.2, (107)

Somerset West and Taunton, 142.5, (221), 72.8, (113)

Cheshire East, 142.4, (547), 102.0, (392)

Bristol, City of, 141.8, (657), 124.3, (576)

South Somerset, 141.4, (238), 118.8, (200)

Mid Suffolk, 140.5, (146), 50.1, (52)

Leeds, 140.2, (1112), 137.1, (1087)

South Oxfordshire, 139.4, (198), 107.0, (152)

Mendip, 139.3, (161), 85.6, (99)

Redcar and Cleveland, 139.3, (191), 143.6, (197)

Wyre Forest, 138.2, (140), 102.7, (104)

North Somerset, 136.7, (294), 126.9, (273)

Halton, 135.2, (175), 124.4, (161)

Wychavon, 135.2, (175), 80.4, (104)

North West Leicestershire, 135.1, (140), 129.3, (134)

Rushcliffe, 135.1, (161), 74.7, (89)

Trafford, 134.8, (320), 86.8, (206)

East Northamptonshire, 134.4, (127), 137.5, (130)

East Hampshire, 134.1, (164), 66.2, (81)

North Tyneside, 133.2, (277), 126.5, (263)

Southampton, 131.1, (331), 80.4, (203)

Erewash, 130.9, (151), 116.1, (134)

Tamworth, 130.4, (100), 148.6, (114)

North Warwickshire, 130.2, (85), 159.4, (104)

Selby, 130.2, (118), 112.6, (102)

Harborough, 130.1, (122), 165.2, (155)

South Norfolk, 129.9, (183), 101.5, (143)

Basingstoke and Deane, 128.0, (226), 92.3, (163)

St. Helens, 127.4, (230), 116.3, (210)

West Suffolk, 127.3, (228), 56.4, (101)

Daventry, 126.8, (109), 91.9, (79)

Craven, 126.0, (72), 106.8, (61)

West Oxfordshire, 125.6, (139), 58.7, (65)

East Cambridgeshire, 124.7, (112), 93.5, (84)

East Suffolk, 123.1, (307), 73.4, (183)

Huntingdonshire, 121.9, (217), 53.9, (96)

Winchester, 120.9, (151), 48.1, (60)

Stratford-on-Avon, 119.1, (155), 65.3, (85)

North East Lincolnshire, 119.1, (190), 115.9, (185)

Rutland, 117.7, (47), 117.7, (47)

Corby, 117.7, (85), 101.1, (73)

High Peak, 115.5, (107), 120.9, (112)

Richmondshire, 115.4, (62), 72.6, (39)

Knowsley, 115.3, (174), 98.1, (148)

Gateshead, 114.8, (232), 87.6, (177)

Liverpool, 112.6, (561), 90.6, (451)

Stockport, 110.8, (325), 112.8, (331)

Cotswold, 110.2, (99), 38.9, (35)

Tewkesbury, 108.4, (103), 91.6, (87)

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, 108.3, (428), 66.0, (261)

Mid Devon, 108.1, (89), 81.4, (67)

Barrow-in-Furness, 105.9, (71), 126.8, (85)

Tameside, 104.6, (237), 91.0, (206)

Exeter, 104.3, (137), 84.5, (111)

Fylde, 104.0, (84), 79.2, (64)

North Norfolk, 104.0, (109), 76.3, (80)

Shropshire, 101.8, (329), 76.7, (248)

Worthing, 98.6, (109), 47.9, (53)

Wirral, 97.8, (317), 59.3, (192)

Bath and North East Somerset, 97.8, (189), 93.6, (181)

Chichester, 97.4, (118), 67.7, (82)

Horsham, 97.4, (140), 99.4, (143)

Test Valley, 92.7, (117), 42.0, (53)

Torridge, 92.3, (63), 45.4, (31)

Harrogate, 92.0, (148), 88.9, (143)

Cheltenham, 91.1, (106), 98.9, (115)

Wiltshire, 90.2, (451), 67.4, (337)

Sefton, 90.1, (249), 70.5, (195)

Teignbridge, 86.5, (116), 43.2, (58)

New Forest, 85.5, (154), 72.2, (130)

York, 84.0, (177), 57.9, (122)

Worcester, 82.0, (83), 72.1, (73)

Allerdale, 79.8, (78), 69.6, (68)

Plymouth, 78.6, (206), 59.1, (155)

Malvern Hills, 77.5, (61), 48.3, (38)

Eastleigh, 75.6, (101), 56.9, (76)

Ryedale, 72.2, (40), 72.2, (40)

Hambleton, 72.1, (66), 48.0, (44)

Derbyshire Dales, 71.9, (52), 76.0, (55)

Herefordshire, County of, 64.8, (125), 45.6, (88)

South Hams, 63.2, (55), 18.4, (16)

Dorset, 61.6, (233), 43.1, (163)

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, 53.2, (304), 18.4, (105)

Isle of Wight, 43.7, (62), 11.3, (16)

Torbay, 42.6, (58), 36.7, (50)

Copeland, 22.0, (15), 29.3, (20)


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