Two neighbourhoods in south Essex have seen a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the past week.

It comes as both Basildon and Castle Point are now seeing infection rates rise again after several weeks of them falling.

Basildon recorded 457 new coronavirus cases in the week ending August 10 – 63 more than the week before.

Castle Point saw 206 new infections – up 58 from the same time last week.

The increase in cases is reflected by a surge in infections in two areas.

Felmore and Bowers Gifford recorded 37 cases in the week ending August 10 – that was up 25 (208%) from the week before.

Canvey Island South West also saw a sharp rise in cases, with 38 recorded in the same period.

That is a week-on-week increase of 25 (192%).

Echo: Latest coronavirus hotspots map for south EssexLatest coronavirus hotspots map for south Essex

In Southend, the infection rate appears to have levelled off, with only three fewer cases (445) recorded in the latest weekly period compared to the week before.

Victoria is still recording the highest number of cases a week with 51.

Infections are continuing to drop in Rochford however, with 39 fewer cases (135) announced compared to last week.

The latest data comes as expert Stephen Reicher, a professor of social psychology at St Andrew’s University in Scotland, said he was relatively optimistic about the levels of coronavirus cases in England as new rules surrounding isolation come into force on Monday.

Speaking in a personal capacity, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “After the reopening on July 19, many of us thought infections would go up massively to 50,000 or 100,000 a day, perhaps they still will, but they didn’t.

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“There’s never a single cause but one of the major reasons why they didn’t was the good sense of the public – people remained cautious, people remained careful, so I have a good amount of faith in the good sense and the caution of the public.”

Prof Reicher, a member of the Independent Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (Spi-B) which advises the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), added that messaging from the Government needed to continue around encouraging people to get PCR tests if they do come into contact with someone who has the virus and the protection levels of vaccines.

“You’re not invulnerable if you’re double-vaccinated, there’s still a fairly good chance you could get infected and infect others,” he said.