ommuter towns outside London have seen a surge in Covid cases in recent weeks.
Though infections in the capital have remained relatively low during the UK’s fourth wave, new NHS figures reveal a sharp increase in towns in Surrey, Bedfordshire and West Sussex.
Surrey Heath, which lies in the Metropolitan Green Belt, recorded 395 cases in the week up to November 7. The area currently has an infection rate of 442.8 cases per 100,000 people.
Horsham, in West Sussex, is not far behind with a case rate of 423.4 per 100,000. The market town recorded 616 infections during this period.
However, both areas have seen a decline in cases compared to the week before. Both Surrey Heath and Horsham recorded 560 and 893 cases respectively between October 31 and November 7.
Luton, in Bedfordshire, also has one of the highest infection rates in South East England with 417.7 cases per 100,000 people. The town recorded 892 cases in the week ending November 7.
Spelthorne, in Surrey, is not far behind on 389.5 cases per 100,000, with 389 infections recorded that week.
However, London’s inner-city districts have some of the lowest infection rates in the country – despite consistently being the epicentre of the virus during the three previous waves of infection.
Camden currently has England’s second-lowest infection rate at 178.5 cases per 100,000 people, down from 188.5 the week before.
Southwark has a case rate of 180.6 infections per 100,000, while Islington’s stands at 181.4.
Newham and Tower Hamlets both have infection rates of 195.1 and 200.6 cases per 100,000 respectively.
This is despite multiple boroughs in London having some of the lowest vaccination coverage in the UK.
Just 52 per cent of residents aged 12 and over in Newham have been double-jabbed, compared to 76.2 per cent in Horsham, according to the latest government figures.
London Bridge and Bermondsey West, in Southwark, has vaccinated 53.5 per cent of residents, while Camberley Parkside – in Surrey Heath – has double-jabbed 81.5 per cent of its population.