THREE neighbourhoods in Southend are recording more than 100 new Covid cases a week as rates across the city have nearly doubled.

The latest figures show there was an 83 per cent increase in infections in the week to March 12.

A total of 1,312 people tested positive for the virus in that period – 532 more than the week before.

Most areas have seen cases double, and three neighbourhoods are now recording 100 or more new cases a week.

They are:

Leigh – 100

  • Increase of 203 per cent on last week

Chalkwell – 113

  • Increase of 109 per cent on last week

Blenheim Park – 108

  • Increase of 111 per cent on last week

Despite the rise, the latest hospital figures shows the number of patients with coronavirus remains steady.

As of Tuesday, there were 208 people with the infection across Basildon, Southend and Broomfield hospitals.

That was an increase of just seven from the same day the week before.

None of the patients are on a ventilator.

The figures also show that 212 new Covid patients were admitted to hospital in Mid and South Essex Trust in the week to March 13.

This was down from 233 in the previous seven days.

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It comes as tourism companies have hailed the “final game-changer” as all remaining Covid travel measures are axed even as cases continue to rise in the UK.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said lifting the requirements, which include pre-travel tests for unvaccinated people, would allow “greater freedom in time for Easter” to go abroad.

After a meeting with senior ministers on Monday, he confirmed the measures were ending for travel to the UK from 4am on Friday under the Government’s plans for “living with Covid”.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said a “range of contingency measures” would be kept in reserve so ministers could take “swift and proportionate action” in the face of potential new variants.

The department said they would “only be implemented in extreme circumstances”, but it was understood the measures would include targeted testing from a country that has seen a new strain emerge.