Published: 12:27, 24 March 2021
| Updated: 12:32, 24 March 2021
Several areas in Kent have seen an increase in coronavirus cases over the last week.
Overall, Kent and Medway saw cases rise by 0.71% after 569 cases were recorded in the last week - bringing the infection rate up to 30.59.
Thanet holds the highest infection rate at 52.8 with cases rising 41.5% to 75 on the week ending March 18.
The six other areas which saw a rise in infection rates included Canterbury, Dover, Ashford, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge and Malling.
Dartford saw no change in the number of cases recorded in the last week - meaning only five areas saw cases decline.
Sevenoaks saw the largest rise in the last week of 45.5%. However because the infection rate and cases are so low - standing at 26.5 and 32 - this rise only accounts for 10 cases.
The area with the largest drop in cases was Gravesham - falling by 59.2% bringing the infection rate down to 18.7. Folkestone and Hythe has the lowest infection rate at 15.
Deaths have dropped to 18 on the week ending March 18 - down by 7 from the week before.
As lockdown restrictions ease, worries over people flouting the rules is growing once again.
In the last week 25 people have been hit with fixed penalty notices for attending house parties in Canterbury and a Sheppey clubhouse may lose its licence after selling alcohol against coronavirus rules.
Cases have been found again in school this week, as St Georges Church of England Primary in Minster was forced to send Year 4 and Year 5 home for ten days after a positive case.
As Swale holds the fifth highest infection rate this week, the leader of Swale council has appealed to residents to continue doing their bit to fight Covid-19.
Cllr Roger Truelove said: “It took a national lockdown for our figures to come down to this level, and whilst the vaccine rollout is going well, we simply can’t afford to be complacent.
“We all need to carry on following the national directions, and keep ourselves and others safe, if we want to gradually enjoy the relaxations the government has set out in its roadmap.
“Our public health colleagues are encouraging everyone to take regular symptom-free tests, twice a week, so we can try to prevent cases spiralling upwards again.
“Households where there are children in school can pick up home testing kits, and local businesses have been invited to carry out workplace testing to keep their workforce, and their families, safe."
In just under a week, on March 29, people will be allowed to meet another household in private gardens, at weddings with six guests and for outdoor sport.
On April 12, non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers and beer gardens can reopen and on May 17 restaurants, pubs and hotels may open fully.