Published: 12:58, 08 July 2021
| Updated: 14:28, 08 July 2021
Kent public health bosses have encouraged football fans to get tested ahead of the Euro 2020 final as the number of recorded Covid cases steadily rises.
In Kent, the infection rate was 137 weekly cases per 100,000 people on July 1.
The number of transmissions have doubled since the week up to June 28 as the UK records the highest daily infections since January, over 32,500 cases.
Outbreaks have been linked to the county's hospitality sector as hundreds of football fans have been watching England's historic Euro 2020 tournament, namely in pubs, sports bars and hotels.
The call to get tested comes after England's 55-year wait to reach a major men's final is over following a 2-1 victory against Denmark at Wembley last night.
KCC's interim director for public health, Allison Duggal, said: "We have had an increase in Covid rates and it is presumed to be due to the Delta variant."
She added: "It is quite likely due to people watching the football. It is important you have a negative test before you watch football in a hospitality venue."
Her comments came during a virtual meeting on Tuesday involving KCC's public health committee, attended by several councillors and senior officers.
Around 1.8million people live across the county's 13 districts, including Medway.
Areas which have seen coronavirus rates above the south east average of 165 cases per 100,000 include Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells and Canterbury.
Under this, dozens of students from the University of Kent are self-isolating as hundreds prepare to embark on their returning home for the summer holidays.
During Tuesday's online debate, Canterbury county Cllr Neil Baker (Con) said: "Lots of students will want to go back home shortly across the world.
"How will it be managed that we do not have hundreds of infected students with the option of either being homeless on the streets, or, travelling around the world and country whilst being actively infected?"
It was revealed that arrangements have been made for students to self-isolate if symptomatic or in contact with someone who is for the last few weeks.
Ms Duggal said University of Kent students have used lateral flow devices to check if they are Covid negative or positive.
At the online debate, she added: "The news that I have is everyone at the University of Kent should be out of isolation by the end of this week."
Meanwhile, KCC has recently made a decision to remove the vast majority of asymptomatic test centres, with only two remaining. There were 24 in March.
The locations include Ashford's Unit1 Eurogate Business Park and Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone, both open seven days a week from 9am.
People can attend if they live or work in Kent and have no Covid symptoms, such as a high temperature, cough or loss and change of smell.
Alternatively, residents have been urged to take weekly lateral flow tests by ordering home kits from the UK government.
It comes as the government has pledged to end social distancing rules on July 19, including mandatory wearing of face masks in indoor settings.
Distributed in packs of seven, they provide results within 30 minutes, similar to a pregnancy test, to order yours click here.
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