Brighton and Hove is one stage away from being declared an ‘area of national concern’ by the Government, after the council increased the city’s coronavirus alert level from yellow to amber.

The move came after the number of covid-19 cases more than doubled over the past week; 115 confirmed cases were reported in the week to October 1st, up from 39 the previous week.

Guidance for the council’s amber stage warns that cases have reached a “level of concern”, and that residents must follow guidelines to prevent infection in the community.

Alistair Hill, director of public health, said in a statement on the council’s website, that residents must make “extra efforts” to slow the spread of the disease or “risk a local lockdown”.

“Play your part by making extra efforts to keep your distance, wash your hands, wear a face covering, limit contact with others and follow the rule of six.”

Large swathes of northern England are already experiencing local lockdowns due to an increase in infection rates, including Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester, Leicester, Birmingham and Leeds.

Measures introduced there have included a ban on socialising with others outside of your household and restrictions on some hospitality venues.

Whilst the weekly rate of new cases now stands at 39.5 per 100,000 people, this still remains lower than the rate for England as a whole – which is currently at 97.5 per 100,000.

The news comes just three weeks after Brighton and Hove City Council introduced the covid alert level and declared a ‘yellow alert’ for the city, and as the Government considers introducing a ‘traffic light system’ for local lockdowns.