THE coronavirus rate in Brighton and Hove is increasing.

The figure, for the seven days to August 29, is based on tests carried out in laboratories and in the wider community.

The rate is expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 people and is published weekly.

Brighton and Hove’s rate is now 8.9 – up from 5.8 the previous week – after the city recorded 26 cases.

The rate could increase again after 21 new cases were registered over the bank holiday weekend alone.

For comparison, the highest local rate in the country has been recorded in Pendle, which has a rate of 71.7.

Slough is the authority with the lowest rate on the government’s "Local Authority Watchlist", which examines the worst affected areas. It has a rate of 9.4.

The director of public health in Brighton has urged young people to follow Covid guidelines after the spate of cases.

Alistair Hill, the health chief on Brighton and Hove City Council, has said some new cases in the city are linked to holidays abroad, especially groups of returning travellers aged in their 20s.

He said that after months of lockdown “it is understandable that young adults are keen to go out and about while the guidelines are relaxed”.

“While young adults are taking part in active roles in our community, such as working, volunteering and socialising, they are much more likely to be carrying the virus without realising it,” he added.

The government has three levels for classifying local outbreaks on its “Local Authority Watchlist”, which was last published on Friday.

The first is an “area of concern” which means targeted actions are taking place to reduce the outbreak – such as increased testing and community engagement.

The next level is an “area of enhanced support”, which means the national public health team is actively working with the local authority and is providing increased resources.

The authority with the lowest rate on this list is Hyndburn, which has a rate of 13.6.

The highest level is an “area of intervention”, which means the authority could be put into a local lockdown.

The authority with the lowest rate on this list is Preston, which has a rate of 23.3.

Mr Hill added: "We’ve seen a further increase in cases locally in the last few days.

The Argus:

“Although the numbers remain relatively low and are still below the national average, this confirms the vital importance of everyone following the government guidelines around social distancing, handwashing and face coverings.

“If you have returned from an affected country you must self-isolate in line with government guidance. If you have symptoms of coronavirus or you have been told to do so please get tested.”