Several areas in south Essex have seen coronavirus cases more than double in the space of a week.

The latest Government data shows each borough and district is still seeing a week-on-week rise in infections.

Both Southend and Thurrock recorded more than 500 cases in the seven days to September 9, while Basildon was close behind with 483.

Infection rates in all five boroughs and districts remain between 250 to 300 cases per 100,000 people, which is below the national average of 321.

But there are a number of areas in the region which have seen a 100 per cent rise in infections in the latest weekly period.

They were:

Rochford Town and Canewdon

28 new cases (211% increase)

Infection rate: 467.4


37 new cases (131% increase)

Infection rate: 308.5


30 new cases (114% increase)

Infection rate: 311.7

Laindon West and Southfields

38 new cases (123% increase)

Infection rate: 407

The latest figures come as Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled the Government’s plan to combat coronavirus this winter.

The so-called plan B, which would be implemented if hospitalisations rose sharply, would see measures such as vaccine passports, mandatory face masks and advice to work from home brought in.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has defended not bringing in more stringent measures now, saying vaccines, boosters and new treatments offer “a very strong” package of tools at present.

He denied the UK is in the same position as this time last year, saying the “big, big difference” is that vaccines are offering a strong line of defence against Covid-19.

He told Sky News: “We’ve also got to have plans in place, just in case, for example, there is a new variant of concern – let’s say, (it’s) highly infectious, has some kind of vaccine-escape capability – we’ve got to prepare for that and have things ready to go just in case.”

Asked if a new variant would be the trigger point for a move to Plan B, he said: “No, a dangerous new variant would be of course of huge significant concern, but there could be other issues.

“So, for example, what happens in the NHS is going to be hugely important to me, to the whole country, making sure that we don’t get to a position again where the NHS becomes unsustainable.

“I think we’re going to have to look at a number of measures… so of course that would be the level of hospitalisation, it will be the pressures on A&E, the pressures on the workforce, so we’d have to take all of these together…”

However, he declined to put a number on how many cases or admissions would trigger Plan B.