Published: 10:07, 28 June 2020
New coronavirus cases in Kent have fallen to their lowest levels since the start of lockdown, new figures reveal.
Public Health England statistics show there were 113 positive tests in the county in the week up to Friday.
Not since March 21 - two days before lockdown restrictions were enforced - have new cases been so low.
At the peak of the crisis in the middle of April there were 1,037 positive tests across Kent - including Medway - in a single week.
Deaths in the county have also fallen for the ninth week in a row.
In the seven days up to June 12, 54 residents lost their lives - down 15 on the week before and 78% fewer than the peak at the start of April.
The figures come amid a backdrop of fears that the continued easing of lockdown will spark a second wave of the virus.
Pictures of packed beaches - with 40,000 sunseekers on Margate Main Sands alone on Thursday - have fuelled concerns over the spread of Covid-19.
And the planned reopening of pubs and restaurants on Saturday has been criticised by many who claim it has come too early.
But cases and deaths continue to fall in Kent.
Lockdown restrictions were first eased on May 13, when people were told they could enjoy unlimited exercise and could play some sports with other households.
That week there were 328 new cases and 94 deaths.
From June 1, the government then allowed people to meet up with other households in gardens, in a maximum group of six and while maintaining social distancing.
New cases in Kent have fallen every week since, from 207 to the latest of 113.
Deaths up to June 12 - the latest figures available for all settings - are the lowest since March 27.
But the potential fallout of scenes such as those in Margate and other Kent beaches will only likely be known in the coming weeks.