Three areas which are in tier two are now among the 20 worst coronavirus hotspots in England, according to the latest data.
The Government has imposed strict restrictions on large parts of the country in a bid to bring infection rates down before Christmas.
But some areas are contesting which tiers they have been put in after some places in tier three have much lower infection rates than those in tier two.
Basildon in Essex, which dodged being put into the highest tier, now has the ninth highest infection rate in the country.
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And London boroughs Redbridge and Havering have the 11th and 16th largest rates respectively, and are also in tier two alongside the rest of the capital.
In comparison Stratford-upon-Avon, which is in tier three, is 281st out of 315 local authorities. Local authorities in Warwickshire have this week launched legal action, saying they should not face the toughest restrictions.
Swale in Kent has the highest infection rate in England, while Medway, Thanet, Gravesham, Maidstone and Dover also feature in the top 10.
Below are the areas with the highest Covid-19 infection rates in England.
The 30 areas with the highest coronavirus infection rates
The figures below show the rate of new cases per 100,000 people in the seven days up to November 29.
The number of new cases recorded in the seven days up to November 29 is written in brackets afterwards.
The worst affected areas are at the top of the list.
- Swale: 577.7 (867)
- Medway: 559.7 (1559)
- Boston: 528.7 (371)
- Thanet: 471.4 (669)
- Gravesham: 389.9 (417)
- Maidstone: 382.9 (658)
- Lincoln: 371.6 (369)
- Stoke-on-Trent: 353.0 (905)
- Basildon: 314.1 (588)
- Dover: 309.0 (365)
- Redbridge: 306.3 (935)
- Slough: 298.9 (447)
- Blackburn with Darwen: 291.9 (437)
- Dudley: 288.9 (929)
- Oadby and Wigston: 287.6 (164)
- Havering: 287.0 (745)
- Burnley: 284.5 (253)
- East Lindsey: 283.6 (402)
- Pendle: 283.4 (261)
- Rossendale: 277.0 (198)
- Leicester: 275.0 (974)
- Rochdale: 269.8 (600)
- Hartlepool: 268.0 (251)
- Barking and Dagenham: 265.4 (565)
- Sandwell: 263.4 (865)
- Hull: 261.0 (678)
- Wolverhampton: 257.4 (678)
- Canterbury: 253.9 (420)
- West Lindsey: 251.9 (241)
- Walsall: 248.7 (710)
This list is based on Public Health England data published on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.
The next review of the tiers is due on December 16 – two weeks after the end of lockdown and over a week before Christmas.
Over Christmas three households will be allowed to form a ‘bubble’ to allow them to mix indoors during the festive period.
The news comes as the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine has reportedly been delivered to the UK ready for the first doses to be given out next week.
Lorries of it are also on the way to the devolved nations and it has to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius before it is used.
The vaccine, which was approved for use in the UK this week, is manufactured in Belgium and was transported via the Channel Tunnel.
The country has ordered 40 million doses of the drug enough to vaccinate 20 million people with two doses, given 21 days apart.
Tory frontbencher Lord Bethell told peers ‘an enormous army’ of people had been mobilised to administer doses, including NHS staff, pharmacists and retired healthcare workers.
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