Covid-19 Infection rates across Essex dropped by 40 per cent in a week.

The county had been experiencing a new infection level of 5.8 people having the virus  per 100,0000 in the week to June 24, but this dropped to 3.5 infected people per 100,000 in the week ending June 30 - a drop of 39.5 per cent.

Southend also saw a large drop of infections from 20.8 per 100,000 people to 8.2 per 100,000 in the same periods – a drop of 60.5 per cent.

In Thurrock it went from 12.2 to 7 – a drop of 42.8 per cent.

The drop will come as a relief to public health officials who had been closely monitoring the number of new cases of coronavirus in Southend, which had been four times higher than the rest of Essex.

Rolling seven day averages for Covid-19 deaths in mid and south Essex – incorporating Basildon, Broomfield and Southend hospitals is now at 1.25 – the lowest it has been since March 23.

The downward trend came ahead of the reopening of restaurants, pubs, cafés, cinemas and other businesses.

The government has made it clear however that local lockdowns will be necessary to keep the disease under control if local spikes are seen to be running out of control.