Millions of people were told this morning they will be plunged into tighter lockdown restrictions from this weekend – but the rules have not changed in Brighton.

The government announced that the whole of London and most of Essex will move into a Tier 2 lockdown from the early hours of Saturday.

This means people living in these areas cannot socialise with people they do not live within indoor settings like homes, pubs, and restaurants, unless they are part of a support bubble.

Essex was placed into Tier 2 following a request by Essex County Council, in a move to slow down the current rates of infection across the county.

It's understood an average county-wide rate of 100 cases per 100,000 population is a threshold which sees areas pushed into stricter measures.

The Argus: Coronavirus cases continue to increase across SussexCoronavirus cases continue to increase across Sussex

But government figures show the latest weekly rate for coronavirus cases in the seven days to October 10 in Essex’s districts are all below 100 cases per 100,000 – the highest being Tendring at 90.1

The same figures show show that 1,513 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 in Brighton and Hove, up from 1,445.

The rate of infection in Brighton and Hove stands at 520 cases per 100,000 people, far lower than the England average of 989.

The Government has classed Brighton & Hove as "medium" risk, and has placed it in the Tier 1 category.

Brighton and Hove Council said it will not update the weekly traffic light local alert level, while they await the Government's new national system of local Covid-19alert levels.

Alistair Hill, Director of Public Health, said: "The ongoing increase in case numbers is very concerning. We are seeing cases in all age groups, although it is most common in young people.


"We have seen more cases in students in the past few weeks. Both of the universities are working hard to support students while they self-isolate and prevent the virus spreading. 

“The virus spreads when people and households mix. This is not a time to take risks. Covid-19 is a highly infectious virus.

"Before going out to mix with other people, please ask yourself: ‘Do I really need to do this and what can I do to reduce my risk?’

"We are at a tipping point. But we can turn this around if we all play our part by following the hands, face, space guidelines and limiting contact with other people."

Mr Hill added: "To stop infection spreading it is also crucial to start self-isolating at the first signs of symptoms and book a test.

"Please ensure you self-isolate if have been informed you are a contact of a case. While self-isolating people must not go out or have visitors at home.

“Now more than ever it is vitally important that we all work together to stop the virus spreading further in the city.”