Two thirds of London boroughs have Covid-19 infection rates below the UK average, PHE figures reveal

Michael Howie
·3-min read
<p></p> (PA)
(PA)

Two thirds of London’s boroughs now have Covid-19 infection rates below the UK average, figures released on Monday reveal.

The seven-day infection rate ranges from a 12.5 cases per 100,000 population in Bexley to 39 in Harrow, according to the latest Public Health England statistics.

Across the capital as a whole, the rate now stands at 21.9 cases per 100,000, compared with 23.4 in England 23.2 across the UK as a whole.

The incidence of the coronavirus in London is now more than 50 times smaller than it was during the second wave peak on January 4, when the infection rare reached 1,118.6.

The current figures cover the seven days up until April 28.

Over that period, 1,959 new cases were recorded in the capital - compared with 15,493 across the UK as a whole.

Twenty-one boroughs have infection rates below the UK average: Barking & Dagenham (23), Barnet (17.2), Bexley (12.5), Bromley (13.8), Camden (16.7), Croydon (17.8), Enfield (14.1), Greenwich (15.6), Hackney/City of London (16.8), Hammersmith and Fulham (21.6), Haringey (14.5), Havering (15.4), Islington (16.1), Kingston-upon-Thames (19.7), Lambeth (15), Lewisham (14.1), Merton (19.4), Richmond-upon-Thames (22.7), Southwark (15.1), Sutton (21.8) and Waltham Forest (16.6).

Eleven boroughs have case rates above the UK average. They are: Brent (33.4), Ealing (35.4), Harrow (39), Hillingdon (31), Hounslow (35.7), Kensington & Chelsea (28.8), Newham (29.2), Redbridge (25.9), Tower Hamlets (29.9), Wandsworth (25.2) and Westminster (27.9).

The latest figures were released as it was reported the one-metre-plus social distancing rule will be scrapped from June 21.

Restaurants, pubs, theatres and cinemas will be able to fully reopen for the first time in 15 months, although masks will have to be worn in some cases, according to the Times.

A return to unrestricted trading for hospitality from June 21 is "critical" and will mean firms can "come off life support", an industry chief has said.

Press Association Images
Press Association Images

Responding to the report in The Times, Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade body UKHospitality, said on Monday: "These reports are very welcome if true.

"However, we must wait to see the full detail of plans as any restrictions in venues will continue to impact revenue and business viability.

"A return to unrestricted trading on June 21 is critical and will mean hospitality businesses (can) come off life support and be viable for the first time in almost 16 months.

"We urge the Government to confirm reopening dates and these plans at the earliest opportunity, which will boost confidence and allow companies to step up planning and bring staff back."

A spokesman for the UK Cinema Association indicated that the organisation hopes face coverings will not be a continued requirement.

He said: "We strongly believe that our exemplary record on safety - with not a single case of Covid traced back to a UK venue - and our ability to manage the movement of cinema-goers in modern, highly ventilated indoor environments offer ample evidence that any relaxation from June 21 can be undertaken safely without the need for further ongoing restrictions, including any requirement for face coverings."

Meanwhile the Government has said the number of mourners allowed to attend funeral in England will be lifted this month, but masks may still need to be worn.

Bereaved families will be able to invite more than 30 mourners to funerals from May 17.

Meanwhile, NHS England data released on Monday shows a total of 5,163,040 jabs were given to people in London between December 8 and May 2, including 3,622,076 first doses and 1,540,964 second doses.

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