A major incident has been declared in London after a rapid rise in new cases of COVID.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is “incredibly worried” about the impact of staff absences on the NHS, firefighters and police due to the rapid increase in cases.

New measures will allow authorities to work together and support each other to reduce service disruptions and allow more time to give booster shots, the mayor’s office said.

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Mr Khan said: “The upsurge in cases of the Omicron variant in our capital is of great concern, so we are once again declaring a major incident due to the threat of Covid-19 to our city.

“The Omicron variant quickly became dominant, with cases increasing rapidly and the number of patients in our hospitals with Covid-19 on the rise again.

“We are already feeling the impact across the capital and while we are still learning about this variant, it is only right that major London agencies are working closely together to minimize the impact on our city, including helping to protect the vital immunization program. “

Of the 377 local areas in the UK, 241 have seen a weekly increase in Covid-19 rates.

Lambeth in London continues to have the highest rate in the UK, with 4,021 new cases in the seven days to December 13 – the equivalent of 1,249.5 per 100,000 people.

This is an increase of 539.1 in seven days to December 6.

Wandsworth in London has the second highest rate, dropping from 573.5 to 1,178.8, with 3,887 new cases.

Southwark in London has the third highest rate, dropping from 509.3 to 1,160.3, with 3,713 new cases.

How Kent’s COVID Rates Compare

It reads, from left to right: name of the local authority; nation or region of local authority; rate of new cases in the seven days to December 13; number (in brackets) of new cases registered in the seven days prior to December 13; rate of new cases in the seven days to December 6; number (in brackets) of new cases registered in the seven days prior to December 6.

Dartford, South East England, 927.7, (1058), 630.4, (719)

Tunbridge Wells, South East England, 850.0, (1011), 718.9, (855)

Sevenoaks, South East England, 812.3, (986), 607.1, (737)

Tonbridge and Malling, South East England, 729.4, (967), 625.3, (829)

Medway, South East England, 709.7, (1981), 604.4, (1687)

Swale, South East England, 684.7, (1034), 636.4, (961)

Ashford, South East England, 667.8, (875), 810.6, (1062)

Maidstone, South East England, 663.7, (1149), 657.3, (1138)

Gravesham, South East England, 641.8, (686), 573.5, (613)

Canterbury, South East England, 632.0, (1054), 584.7, (975)

Folkestone and Hythe, South East England, 611.5, (693), 597.4, (677)

Dover, South East England, 606.7, (719), 508.0, (602)

Thanet, South East England, 540.1, (764), 571.2, (808)