THE number of new coronavirus cases recorded in south Essex has halved over the past week.

Rochford has seen the biggest fall in the region, with 60 per cent fewer cases reported in the seven days to January 13 compared to the week before.

Basildon, Castle Point and Thurrock also recorded a drop of more than 50 per cent, while it was just below that figure (48 per cent) in Southend.

The improving picture has been seen across much of England in the past week, and has seen Prime Minister Boris Johnson announce an end to Covid restrictions from next Thursday.

Here is the latest data for each part of south Essex for the week ending January 13:


New cases: 1,603 (drop of 1,689)

Infection rate: 854 cases per 100,000 people

Castle Point

New cases: 651 (drop of 876)

Infection rate: 719 cases per 100,000 people


New cases: 566 (drop of 916)

Infection rate: 645 cases per 100,000


New cases: 1,502 (drop of 1,420)

Infection rate: 821 cases per 100,000 people


New cases: 1,630 (drop of 1,694)

Infection rate: 928 cases per 100,000 people

People will no longer be told to work from home and, from Thursday next week when Plan B measures lapse, mandatory Covid passes will end, Mr Johnson said earlier in the Commons.

The legal requirement for people with coronavirus to self-isolate will also be allowed to lapse when the regulations expire on March 24, and that date could be brought forward.

When it comes to face masks, the Government will no longer make people wear them anywhere from next Thursday and they will be scrapped in classrooms from this Thursday, with school communal areas to follow.

POLL >> Do you support the easing of Covid restrictions

Mr Johnson signalled his intention to start treating Covid-19 more like flu, saying: “There will soon come a time when we can remove the legal requirement to self-isolate altogether, just as we don’t place legal obligations on people to isolate if they have flu.

“As Covid becomes endemic, we will need to replace legal requirements with advice and guidance, urging people with the virus to be careful and considerate of others.”