Rates of coronavirus infection rose significantly across south east London in the last recorded week, prior to the Government announcing new restrictions on social gatherings.

The change in the law in England, which restrict gatherings to six people, will come into force on Monday as the Government seeks to curb the rise in coronavirus cases.

Local figures show a considerable rise of infections in the seven days leading up to September 5, with three of four boroughs showing an increased rate in the number of new cases per 100,000 people.

News Shopper:

The figures are based on tests that have been carried out both in laboratories (pillar one of the Government's testing programme) and in the wider community (pillar two).

The rate is expressed as number of new cases per 100,000 population, based on the latest Public Health England figures updated last night.

Data for the most recent three days (September 6-8) has been excluded as it is incomplete and likely to be revised.

Public Health England has also disclosed the number of individual new cases discovered over the period.

Bromley saw a substantial rise from 9.6 cases per 100,000 the previous week to 14.1. This amounted to 47 individual cases in total across the borough.

A similar trend was observed in Lewisham, which saw a rise from 9.5 cases per 100,000 to 14.1 per 100,000, a total of 43 individual cases.

Greenwich also showed an uptick, with 12.2 new cases per 100,000, compared to 11.8 the week before. This amounted to 35 new cases.

Only Bexley saw decrease, from 10.9 per 100,000 to 10.1, 25 individual cases.

News Shopper:

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce the change in the law after the number of daily positive Covid-19 cases in the UK rose to almost 3,000.

The legal limit on social gatherings will be reduced from 30 people to six.

It will apply to gatherings indoors and outdoors - including private homes, as well as parks, pubs and restaurants.

Gatherings of more than six people will be allowed where the household or support bubble is larger than six, or where the gathering is for work or education purposes.

Mr Hancock said the reason work and education were exempt was because "we need to get through this coronavirus with the minimal impact".

He added: "But it does mean that when it comes to socialising, we are unfortunately having to put in place these rules because our contact tracing system - which is now excellent - shows that the majority of the transmission of this disease is in social circumstances."

News Shopper:

Exemptions will also apply for weddings, funerals and Covid-secure organised team sports, with a full list to be published by the Government before Monday.

Mr Johnson is expected to tell the press conference: "We need to act now to stop the virus spreading. So we are simplifying and strengthening the rules on social contact - making them easier to understand and for the police to enforce.

"It is absolutely critical that people now abide by these rules and remember the basics - washing your hands, covering your face, keeping space from others, and getting a test if you have symptoms."