BRIGHTON and Hove is to receive extra government help to tackle an alarming rise in Delta variant cases.

The city council said the extra support would be provided to boost testing and ensure the city is “safe and open for business”.

It will include the operation of two symptom free walk-in PCR Mobile Testing Units and the introduction of advertising campaign to promote testing and vaccinations, aimed at the highest risk groups.

The news comes as the rate in Brighton and Hove continues to be the highest in the UK, with positive cases highest among teenagers and young adults.

Anyone between the ages of 18-30 who lives in the city is being asked to take a coronavirus PCR test, whether or not they have symptoms.

Covid Marshalls will continue to promote testing and vaccinations in bars, restaurants and areas of heavy football in the city.

Schools have also been advised to reintroduce face coverings in classrooms and communal areas for staff and pupils.

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council said that additional support is “good news for the city”, especially in the run up to 19 July when lockdown measures are set to be relaxed.

He said: “Our city is very much open for business, but the high quantity of Covid cases in the city means we need residents and visitors to be especially cautious.

“Most legal restrictions are likely to end in a week; however, Covid is sadly far from over and we must all keep taking responsibility to protect ourselves, families, friends and communities.

“I urge everyone to keep up washing hands, wearing a face mask indoors and in crowded spaces, maintaining a safe distance, keeping rooms well ventilated and meeting outdoors as much as possible, this week and after 19 July. Help keep our city open and safe.”

Alistair Hill, Director of Public Health for Brighton & Hove said it was important to slow the rate of infection while people are still having their vaccinations.

He said: “If you’re 18-29 and are living or working in the city, get tested at our new symptom free testing sites. This will help will find cases quickly so that you can self-isolate and stop the spread.”

“The vaccine programme is a fantastic success and is weakening the link between infection, serious illness and people having to go to hospital.

“So I also say again to everyone who hasn’t had their first vaccination, please go and do this as soon as possible.

“Convenient, no appointment, no documentation vaccination sessions are open now every day in Brighton & Hove. They are at Brighton Racecourse, Hove Lawns, and at the Brighton Centre as well as other mobile locations.

“And, if you had your first vaccination eight weeks ago and are waiting to get your second, you can also do this now at the no appointment, no documentation vaccination sessions.

“Text your friends and family to support them to get their vaccinations too.”

The walk-in testing sites will be open from 12 noon everyday:

• Peace Statue, Hove seafront, BN3 2WN Usually open 12noon until 7pm every day

• Jubilee Square, Jubilee Street, Brighton BN1 1GE Usually open 12noon until 5pm every day