More than 600 new cases of the Delta variant of coronavirus have been recorded in Essex, latest figures reveal.

Public Health England figures show 1,914 cases of the Delta variant – first identified in India – had been recorded in Essex by July 14.

That was 633 more than the 1,281 cases recorded the week before.

Numbers of the Delta variant in the UK have risen by 36,800 since last week to a total of 253,049. 

This represents a 17 per cent increase. 

Here is how case numbers have changed across Essex:

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: "Case rates are still high and rising, but it is encouraging that the increase in cases still does not appear to be associated with a similar increase in hospitalisations and deaths.

"This is testament to the continued success of the vaccination programme in reducing the incidence of severe disease.

"The best way to keep yourself and those around you safe is to get both doses of the vaccine as soon as you are eligible. However, while vaccines offer excellent protection, they do not completely eliminate risk.

"As we approach the end of restrictions, it is as important as ever that we continue to exercise caution.

"Take your free twice-weekly rapid tests and if you have symptoms, you should book a PCR test immediately and stay at home until you receive your result.