Published: 12:25, 28 November 2021
| Updated: 12:43, 28 November 2021
The number of people with Covid in Kent's hospitals has fallen for the third week in a row.
Latest figures show there are 153 patients with the virus in the county - down from 160 the week before.
Three of Kent's four hospital trusts have seen numbers drop, with only Medway recording an increase.
The number of patients in East Kent Hospitals has fallen by almost a third from 49 to 35, while the Maidstone and Dartford and Gravesend trusts have seen smaller decreases at their sites.
Maidstone has seen a fall of three cases from 44 to 41, while Dartford and Gravesend's numbers have dropped by five, from 34 to 29.
Meanwhile, Medway Maritime Hospital's patients have risen from 35 to 49, an increase of 14. It means that overall, Kent and Medway's numbers have declined by eight this week.
It comes as mask-wearing restrictions are due to come back into force this week with the discovery of the new Omicron variant in the UK.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced yesterday that the UK Health Security Agency had detected cases in Chelmsford and in Nottingham.
The two cases are linked, and both people are self-isolating along with their households while track and trace takes place, Mr Javid confirmed.
The new variant, confirmed to be 'of concern' but the exact effects of which are unknown, has been found in Botswana, South Africa, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.
Seven southern African countries were immediately put on the red travel list to the UK following the discovery of the variant.
In his announcement yesterday Mr Javid said Angola, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia would be added to that list.
But while he confirmed mask-wearing would be re-introduced in shops and on public transport from Tuesday, he said families should plan Christmas "as normal".