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Six out of 18 areas of England where coronavirus cases continue to rise are in Kent

Just 18 areas of England are now recording a rise in Covid-19 case rates - and a third of them are in Kent.

Six districts and boroughs in the county have seen the rate of infections increase, according to the latest figures.

Six areas of Kent have seen a rise in the rate of coronavirus infections
Six areas of Kent have seen a rise in the rate of coronavirus infections

The rates are up in Ashford, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe, Maidstone, Medway and Tonbridge and Malling, which later this week, along with the rest of Kent, are due to be placed in Tier 3 - the toughest level of coronavirus restrictions.

Everywhere else in England – 297 out of 315 areas across the nation – is recording a fall.

Medway has seen the biggest jump in rates of any area in the region, up from 383 per 100,000 people to 477.8.

Swale still has the highest rate in the country of 557 but that is down from 644.3.

The rates are for the week ending November 25.

Covid Tier 3 (43341462)
Covid Tier 3 (43341462)

Ironically, the six areas of Kent to report an increase in cases are all represented by MPs who wrote to Health Secretary Matt Hancock raising concerns that all of Kent and Medway would be placed into Tier 3.

Damian Green (Ashford), Tracey Crouch (Chatham and Aylesford), Tom Tugendhat (Tonbridge and Malling), Damian Collins (Folkestone and Hythe), Helen Grant (Maidstone) and Natalie Elphicke (Dover) all added their signatures to the joint letter.

They argued some districts and boroughs had much lower levels than other areas and questioned the need for them to be in Tier 3.

The latest rates, which are updated daily, prompted Mr Collins to tweet that it was "very concerning" to see a "significant worsening" of the rate in New Romney.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was due to publish a report today setting out the impact assessment of the Tier 3 restrictions to convince MPs who doubted the logic of how the system was being implemented.

His argument appears to have been boosted by figures which show cases fell by almost a third in England during the second lockdown.

According to Kent County Council, Kent's infection rate, as of November 26, was 276.2 per 100,000 people, down 8.5.

It says the England rate was 160.2, meaning every part of the county had a rate above the national average, apart from Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Ashford, although the rate in the latter was heading in the wrong direction.

NOTE: Data used in this article is collated by PA Media or has been provided by KCC and while taken from government figures is likely to increase slightly as more data comes in. Our map, found here, provides figures up until November 24 which is considered by public health bodies to be more reliable.

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