A third lockdown came into force on 6 January
The UK has begun the mass roll-out of a Covid-19 vaccination programme.
- Copyright: Twitter / Kent Adult Education
A number of adult education centres will close as new lockdown rules come into force.
Kent Adult Education, which runs almost 4,000 courses across the county, said learning will be moved online.
In a statement on its website, the organisation said: “In light of the government's recent announcement regarding the national lockdown, we have made the decision to close our adult education centres, at close of business on 5 January 2021.”
Kent Adult Education, which has 14 centres, said its goal was that as many people as possible complete their programme of study.
The statement added: “In the case of GCSEs, we will be guided by national advice. For other qualifications such as Functional Skills in English and maths, we are currently exploring ways in which learners will be able to sit their exam in an appropriate setting.
"We will be providing details of how this can happen in the near future.”
Ambulance officials in the South East are urging people to only call 999 in an emergency amid strong pressure on their service.
South East Coast Ambulance Service, which covers Kent, Sussex, Surrey and parts of Hampshire, said it was facing "very high demand".
It comes as the number of new daily confirmed cases of coronavirus topped 60,000 in the UK for the first time since the pandemic began.
More than 40 fines were issued to people for flouting Covid-19 restrictions between 31 December and 3 January, Kent Police said.
Officers closed down house parties and fined people who were breaching self-isolation rules.Copyright: Getty Images
A £1,000 fine was handed out to a man in Chatham who failed to isolate after testing positive for Covid-19.
And police said they responded to a New Year’s Eve party in Oaten Hill, Canterbury, where a group of teenagers gathered. They also issued a £200 fixed penalty notice to a man.
In addition, four separate incidents resulted in 15 fines being issued to people in Gillingham, Chatham and Rochester.
Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix, of Kent Police, said: “We were able to disperse people and remind them of their personal responsibility to do the right thing and follow the law.
“However, on the occasions where people showed a blatant disregard for the regulations, putting others in danger by hosting gatherings or meeting others whilst infected with the virus, officers were left with no other option but to issue fines.”
Rapid-result Covid-19 testing for people who do not have symptoms is being rolled out across Kent.
There will be 12 new test centres around the county as part of a rolling programme to help reduce the rates of transmission.
The testing will find people who do not currently have symptoms but who may be unknowingly spreading the virus.
In addition to sites already running in Sheppey and Ramsgate, people can now book for tests at the following venues:
- Northfleet Youth Club, Hall Road, Gravesend
- Swanley Youth Club, St Mary’s Road
- Dover Discovery Centre, York Street
- Folkestone Library, 2 Grace Hill, Folkestone
- Unit 1, Eurogate Business Park, Thomson Rd, Ashford
- Kent Show Ground, Detling
- Kemsley Community Centre, Ridham Avenue
- The Centre, Birchington, Alpha Road, Birchington
- Sidney Cooper Gallery, 22-23 St Peter’s Street, Canterbury
- Larkfied Library, Martin Square, Larkfield
- Fairfield Leisure Centre, Lowfield Street, Dartford
- Assembly Hall Theatre, Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells
All symptom-free testing sites will be open daily from 09.00 to 19.00 GMT, starting on 7 January.
Once all 14 sites are open, there will be capacity for over 13,000 tests across Kent each day.
Kent County Council leader Roger Gough said: “Another 10 sites are being planned for rollout in the coming weeks so we continue to do everything we can to help Kent out of this situation.”
Tests can be booked online: https://kcc.healthit.org.uk/covbook/home