THE leader of the city council has urged everyone in Brighton and Hove to play their part in curbing the spread of Covid-19 after a dramatic rise in cases.

Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty made the statement following the news that the rate of infection in Brighton and Hove has exceeded the average rate for England.

He said: “On Thursday we learned that confirmed new cases of Covid-19 leapt up by 160 per cent in the past week.

"Our rate per hundred thousand of the population has now overtaken the rest of the country.

“Let’s take that in – our rates of Covid-19 here in Brighton and Hove now exceed the rest of England."

According to the latest seven day figures up to June 14, the rate of infection in Brighton and Hove now stands at 99.4 per 100,000, whereas the rate for England is now 81.3 per 100,000.

Cllr Mac Cafferty urged all residents, including those who have been vaccinated, to take regular lateral flow tests and follow Covid safety guidelines when mixing with others.

He added that the majority of new cases are among teenagers and young people under the age of 25, whereas older groups who have been double vaccinated had the lowest rates of Covid-19.

Cllr Mac Cafferty said: "I must emphasise that I am not drawing attention to this to blame these young people who have, in many ways, had to sacrifice more than any other age group during the pandemic so far.

“Most of these young people haven’t been able to get vaccinated yet.

"So it’s wonderful news that everyone over the age of 18 can now get their jab and I strongly urge everyone to do so without delay.

“Until everyone can take up the vaccination offer, the rest of us who’ve had our first or second jabs must continue to play our part to support each other and keep the city safe.

"Extreme cases can still occur in younger age groups as well as ongoing symptoms known as ‘long Covid’.

"I know many of us are tired but it’s vital that we stop Covid among those who are not vaccinated and do our bit to suppress the more infectious Delta variant.

"None of us want to go back to stricter restrictions, or see loved ones in hospital. The pandemic isn’t over yet and we can all still play our part to bring infections down.”