The Prime Minister announced this evening tighter restrictions for over the Christmas period which is disappointing news for us all.

A new coronavirus variant has emerged which spreads considerably more quickly. Cases are now on the rise again, including in Southampton. In the past week the number of cases has increased by over 50% in the city. Action is now required to stop the spread of infection.

The new rules mean that a ‘Christmas bubble’ of a maximum of three householders can only be formed on Christmas Day in Southampton. This is a virus which thrives and spreads through social contact. To stop the spread, I strongly urge people to think very carefully about any mixing with people outside of their households and avoid this if at all possible.

Tougher restrictions are in place elsewhere in Hampshire and in the South-East. We are fortunate that infection rates are still lower than elsewhere in the South East. However to stop even tougher restrictions be needed, we must remain vigilant and follow the rules as carefully as possible to protect our loved ones.

It is disappointing for us all that Christmas plans need to be further disrupted. However, this change is needed to keep everyone safe and protect ourselves and our families from this terrible virus. This has been an incredibly challenging year for us all, and this is not the end of the year which any of us could have hoped for. However, by pulling together now we can look forward to a happier and more successful 2021.