THE number of new coronavirus cases in Brighton and Hove rose by more than 70 per cent last week, figures show.

In the seven days up to Friday, May 28, 56 new cases were confirmed in the city, which is a 71 per cent increase on the previous week.

The weekly infection rate stands at 19.3 per 100,000 residents, close to the South East rate of 20.7 per 100,000 and lower than the England rate, at 30.9 per 100,000.

Head of Public Health Intelligence in the city Kate Gilchrist said people should not be too alarmed by the percentage rise.

She said: "In the past few weeks, overall rates have been relatively low, so when seen as a percentage, even a modest rise in cases looks like a sharp rise.

The Argus:

“We can expect to see numbers vary each week as we ease out of lockdown. But even so, we need to remain alert because every new case reported shows the virus is still circulating.

“The biggest number of reported cases was among young people and young adults who have not yet been vaccinated.

"Reassuringly, in the 60+ age group cases remain very low. This is especially significant as most people in that age group will have had both vaccinations, which demonstrates how successful vaccines are at controlling the virus."

Ms Gilchrist added that vaccines alone are not enough to keep people safe, and that the guidelines of hands, face, space and fresh air, with regular testing, remain crucially important while the NHS vaccination programme rolls out to all age groups – even for those people who have been vaccinated.

She said: “Each of these safety measures work in combination with each other - and vaccinations - to give the best overall protection.

The Argus:

“To protect the people we love and keep pressure off the NHS it is important that everyone who is able to gets vaccinated with the recommended two doses.

"The first shot provides good protection but both doses are needed for the vaccines to be fully effective."

“We’re doing everything we can to make it as easy as possible for everyone to be vaccinated with a mobile vaccination service visiting communities to reach everyone who can’t get to the main vaccination centres.

"A free transport service for people who don’t have means to travel to their vaccination appointment can be booked by phone on 0300 303 8060 from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday.”