I sincerely appreciate your frustration following the announcement that Fareham has been designated as a ‘Tier 2’ area once national restrictions come to an end today.
Based on current data, I do believe that this alert level is appropriate. The overall case rate across Hampshire is now 152/100,000, while Fareham is also experiencing higher infection rates than other districts; the cumulative rate per 100,000 population is 1,120.1 – higher than Gosport, Hart and New Forest, for example. NHS admissions have been increasingly rapidly during November and, although they now remain stable, it is important that strict measures remain in place to protect local healthcare providers. Indeed, our priority from the outset has been to protect the NHS from being overwhelmed, and these restrictions bear testament to that ambition.
That being said, I know that the last few weeks have been extremely difficult for residents and businesses in Fareham, and I would like to thank everyone for their continued patience in abiding by the latest restrictions. Indeed, I sincerely believe that our community’s unwavering dedication has been invaluable in driving down local infection.
However, I must reiterate that the festive period will still look very different this year. Indeed, as the Health Minister said, hope is on the horizon, but we must all dig deep.
Therefore, as we continue to tackle the threat of Covid-19, the updated three tiered system will be crucial in reducing and keeping the R rate below one. If you have not done so already, I advise you to carefully scrutinise the guidance, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-2-high-alert
I know that the Government will review the allocations every 14 days, with the first review complete by the end of 16 December.