On Tuesday the Prime Minister announced some additional lockdown restrictions which will take effect from this week. These measures include pubs and restaurants being required to close by 10pm and people being advised to work from home where possible.

Covid-19 cases are rising quickly and hospital admissions and deaths are starting to follow the same trajectory. We can’t wait to see if hundreds or thousands begin to die in a second wave before we take action.

We must all continue to wash our hands, cover our faces in enclosed spaces and observe social distancing. This will help to reduce the risk for everyone, including those who are most susceptible to coronavirus. If we all follow the rules the restrictions will be relaxed more quickly.

I have been contacted by people who feel this is an overreaction, they feel they should be able to take responsibility for their own risk. We should remember that much of the time we are not following the rules to protect ourselves but to protect others. If I allow myself to become infected because I believe I will be okay I could pass it on to my 86 year old mother. Would that be responsible? So I wash my hands, wear a mask and try to keep my distance – that’s all the Government is asking people to do. This is not about taking away our freedom, we have never been free to risk other people’s lives with impunity and nor should we now.

Treatments are improving all the time. Good progress is being made towards developing a vaccine. We are testing more people than ever before, and Southampton is leading the way in new testing methods and drugs to treat covid. We also now have the NHS Covid-19 App which is part of the vital Track and Trace system, which I would urge you to download (you can do so by clicking here if you’re reading on your phone).

Our NHS, social care and other key workers continue to work hard to support us all and that includes treatments for illnesses other than just coronavirus. This can’t just be about covid. So please ensure you contact your GP if you have any unusual symptoms at all.

With our combined resolve and adherence to the rules we will beat this virus more quickly and return to our normal way of life.