Torridge has the lowest coronavirus infection rate in England, according to the latest government figures.

As of Monday, May 18, district has 35 confirmed cases of Covid-19 at a rate of 51.4 cases per 100,000 people – the lowest of any lower tier local authority in England.

It comes after Hastings and Mendip – the two authorities which had a lower infection rate – had new confirmed cases.

There have been 90 confirmed cases in North Devon, which has an infection rate of 93.6 cases per 100,000 people.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Devon County Council administrative area stands at 795, at a rate of 100.

There have been 165 cases in Exeter, 136 in East Devon, 146 in Teignbridge, 79 in South Hams, 91 in Mid Devon and 53 in West Devon.

The rate of infection in England is 257.5 cases per 100,000 people.

Torridge District Council has introduced a phased reopening of some of its facilities, with beach car parks, and public toilets among those reopening, as well as a return of parking enforcement.

Council leader, Councillor Ken James said although the district had seen a low infection rate, people still need to act sensibly and continue to follow government guidelines.

“We are thankful that due to the sacrifices of local businesses and residents we have seen a relatively low infection rate in our area,” said Cllr James.

“So we are emphasising that this is not a green light for holiday makers to return on mass and we would ask everyone that does visit or for local residents using facilities to continue to follow all the government guidelines that remain in place regarding social distancing and hygiene routines.

“If we all act sensibly and with thought for others we will hopefully continue to make progress towards a return to normal life.”