Several parts of south Essex have been added to the Covid hotspots map following a small rise in cases across the region.

It comes amid growing speculation the final easing of lockdown – and removal of all restrictions – could be delayed by a few weeks.

The Thurrock district is currently recorded the highest number of new cases in south Essex with 30 confirmed in the week ending June 3.

There were 27 in Southend, 20 in Basildon, and 11 in both Castle Point and Rochford.

Only Southend saw a drop in cases in that period.

Echo: The latest hotspots map for south EssexThe latest hotspots map for south Essex

A closer look at the Covid hotspots map shows there are now 11 areas currently highlighted, with recording an infection rate above 100 cases per 100, 000 people.

The areas and the rates of infection area:

  • Corringham North and London Gateway – 117.6
  • Hadleigh South – 45.9
  • Corringham South – 41.9
  • Belfairs – 41.6
  • Chalkwell – 38.0
  • Benfleet North – 37.9
  • Blenheim Park – 35.9
  • Felmore and Bowers Gifford – 34.2
  • Lee Chapel South and Kingswood – 30.1
  • Westborough - 26.8

Meanwhile the number of people in hospital with coronavirus in mid and south Essex currently stands at seven, with one of those on a ventilator.

The information is correct as of June 1.

Downing Street has said the data emerging for all parts of England over the coming week will be “crucial” in deciding whether all legal coronavirus restrictions can end as hoped on June 21.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “There still remains that there is nothing in the data currently to suggest Step 4 can’t go ahead at the earliest date.

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“But we do need to look very closely at the data over this coming week, which will be crucial to decide and really to get a sense of the data, particularly on hospitalisations and whether or not the excellent vaccine rollout programme has sufficiently severed that link between the increase in cases, which we always expected to happen, particularly after Step 3, and that subsequently leading to hospitalisations and deaths.”

Asked if there is evidence of a third wave, the spokesman said: “We can see that the cases are rising in the UK, that is both due to the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant, and to a certain extent the opening up of measures taken in Step 3.”