Published: 14:14, 16 October 2020
| Updated: 14:30, 16 October 2020
Three areas of Kent have a higher infection rate than Essex - which is preparing to enter a Tier 2 lockdown.
Our neighbours across the Thames Estuary have asked to be placed in the 'high-alert' category after a surge in positive tests saw its rate rise to 58 weekly cases per 100,000 people.
It means from tomorrow its residents will no longer be able to socialise indoors with people from different households.
But in Kent - which remains in the lowest risk Tier 1 - three areas actually have a higher infection rate.
Swale - which recorded 112 new cases last week - has the county's highest rate, at 74.6.
But while the county's public health director, Andrew Scott-Clark, has warned mini-lockdowns could be imposed on individual districts, he suggests such action is currently unlikely .
"If we thought we were in a situation we didn’t understand or couldn't control it would be a conversation with the government, but I don't see that happening at the moment," he said this week.
“We know rates are relatively low across Kent and Medway , but we are seeing a slow growth of cases.
“It means people need to maintain their social distances, maintain the rule of six and wear masks where appropriate in public, wash hands frequently and to be very careful.
“[Kent’s rate isn’t] anywhere near the national average, but we are keeping a very close eye on the situation.
"We do see higher rates of Covid in Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks. This is from people returning from abroad, particularly from Croatia and the Greek Islands. But that was before those two areas were put on the quarantine list."
The infection rate across Kent as a whole was 45.2 in the week up to October 12 - a rise of 16% on the previous seven days.
Across the same week, the UK rate increased 23% from 134 to 164.9.