According to the latest government data, 18,570 new cases were reported in Surrey, and 14,026 in Hampshire, in the seven days to December 22.
Surrey’s rolling seven-day infection rate currently stands at 1,547.7 cases per 100,000 people, up from 1,009.6 per 100,000 in Hampshire.
Across England, there were 647,595 cases in the seven days to December 22, with an infection rate of 1,145.2 per 100,000 people.
Locally, in Waverley, 1,488 cases were reported over the same period, giving the borough an infection rate of 1,175.8 cases per 100,000.
But East Hampshire fared better, with 1,190 cases over the seven days to December 22 and a below-average infection rate of 960.9 per 100,000.
The infection rate in neighbouring Chichester district stands at 839.5 per 100,000. But cases remain high in Hart district, where there are 1,239.7 cases per 100,000.
The government’s interactive map of cases (https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/interactive-map/cases) reveals infection rates are consistently above 800 cases per 100,000 people in Farnham, Haslemere, Bordon and surrounding areas.
But Alton is faring slightly better than most, with infection rates of 706.2 cases per 100,000 in Alton Ashdell, Whitedown & Amery and 721.4 in Alton Westbrooke & Eastbrooke.
The worst-affected area locally is Odiham and Warnborough, where there were 11 new cases and an infection rate of 1,630.4 per 100,000 in the seven days to December 22.
Shoppers should also be aware of particular spikes in Guildford town centre (1,796.4 cases per 100,000).
Hospital admissions across the South East have increased daily since Christmas Day, with 794 Covid-19 patients receiving treatment in the region’s hospitals on December 25, rising to 803 on Boxing Day, and 926 on December 27.
The number of Covid-19 patients on mechanical ventilation has dropped, however, from 108 on Christmas Day to 99 on Boxing Day and 93 on December 27.
Hospital admissions remain significantly below last winter’s peak though, when on January 13, 2020, 5,577 Covid-19 patients were receiving hospital treatment in the South East.