Published: 19:25, 09 January 2021
| Updated: 19:28, 09 January 2021
The Kent towns where coronavirus was spreading fastest after Christmas have been revealed - as cases across the county continue to surge.
The Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday that one in 50 people in the UK had Covid.
But the most recent data shows that in several Kent districts about one in 30 people were carrying the virus following the festive period.
According to modelling by the ONS, 3.1% of people in Ashford, Dartford, Gravesham, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Folkestone and Hythe, Tonbridge and Malling and Tunbridge Wells had Covid between December 28 and January 2.
In Medway the level was 2.4%, while in Canterbury, Dover, Swale and Thanet it was 1.3%.
On December 19, the Prime Minister announced Tier 4 restrictions were being imposed on Kent - banning families gathering over Christmas.
Scientists and ministers feared get-togethers inside people's homes would help the virus to spread.
Despite the strict rules, the infection rate has been rising across Kent.
On Christmas Eve, 14% of people in the county who took a coronavirus test were found to have the virus.
By New Year's Eve this had risen to 22.4%. This has now dropped slightly to 21.7%, according to the latest figures.
Meanwhile, on December 21, the county's infection rate was 750.3 per 100,000 people. But it has now risen to 867.
In Medway, it has gone up slightly too - from 1,122.9 to 1,167.8.
While most people have been following the rules, Kent Police revealed earlier this week that dozens of people had been fined over the festive period for breaching restrictions.
This included a woman from Scotland who travelled down to Medway for a house party on New Year's Day.
Thanet has recorded the county's biggest rise in infections over the past week, up 66%.
Meanwhile, the percentage of people in the district testing positive for the virus jumped from 11.3% on Christmas Eve to 18.5% on January 4.
Scientists from the University of Kent have estimated that up to one in three people in the county have already had Covid.
But they warned that the high number of cases does not mean Kent is set to benefit from any sort of herd immunity.
Meanwhile, as cases have increased after Christmas, so has the number of Covid patients in the county's hospitals.
At the East Kent Hospitals Trust, the number on its wards with coronavirus has risen from 375 on Christmas Eve to 460. During the Spring peak, it was treating 187 Covid patients.
Medway Maritime Hospital is now treating 272 people with Covid, up from 226 on December 24.
Over the same period, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust now has 323, compared to 252.
At Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, there are 268 Covid patients, up from 159 on Christmas Eve.
So far this month, 249 people in Kent and Medway with coronavirus have died.
The Government hopes the roll-out of the Covid vaccines will eventually help reduce the number of people in hospital with the disease - and the number losing their lives,
Today, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh both had a jab - as did hundreds of people at a drive-thru clinic in Whitstable.