The Prime Minister has announced this evening new national lockdown restrictions which will come into force tonight.

As back in March this year, everyone must stay at home.  I know even tougher restrictions than under Tier 4 are disappointing. All schools which haven’t already will move to online learning from tomorrow, except for vulnerable children and those of key workers.

These new rules are needed to help protect the NHS. The new more contagious strain of coronavirus is causing an even faster spread than before. Cases in Southampton have risen sharply. On 1st of December, the average number of daily positive tests in the last 7 days was 23.9. By the end of the December this figure has increased almost tenfold to 210.7.  The number of hospital admissions is rising rapidly nationally , up by one third in just one week.

These are challenging times for us all. I urge everyone to follow the rules and consider reaching out to loved ones at this difficult time. There is now real reason for hope as the both the Pfizer and the Oxford vaccine are being rolled out at an accelerating pace.

By following the rules now, the virus can be suppressed whist more people can get the vaccine to protect them from this terrible virus and save lives.