Local MP Alan Mak has spoken to Health Secretary Matt Hancock about the latest Tier 4 decision affecting the whole Havant Constituency.
From 00.01h on Sunday 20 December, the entire Havant Constituency will be subject to Tier 4 restrictions due to rising COVID-19 infection rates including a new, highly transmittable variant strain.
Tier 4 guidance is now online: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home and the full legal Regulations are here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1611/contents/made
I have spoken to Health Secretary Matt Hancock and the whole Havant Constituency in is Tier 4 for a combination of the below reasons:
• Very high infection rate. We have been amongst the highest in Hampshire for several weeks leading up to the Tier 4 decision. We were lower over the summer/autumn hence we started in Tier 2, then moved to Tier 3, but the rate has gone up significantly this winter leading to our current Tier 4 position.
• Proximity to Portsmouth. Portsmouth has consistently had the highest infection rate in Hampshire for sustained periods (around 180-200 cases per 100,000 people). The Havant Constituency directly borders Portsmouth and there is/was substantial travel to and from Portsmouth (where the infection rate is still high) as we are in the Portsmouth “travel to work area”. Many Havant Constituency residents have other ties to Portsmouth apart from work, such as family and friendship connections, so Tier 4 restrictions are designed to reduce the flow of movement between these two high infection areas (I understand Gosport is similar, and also has a high infection rate like Havant).
• Growing pressure on QA Hospital. They are running at 200% capacity in some areas, and the need to protect the QA's resources is key, as the new strain of the virus is very transmittable and more so than the "standard" strain. We need to protect the higher than average number of older and vulnerable people in the Havant Constituency. I speak to Mark Cubbon, the Chief Executive of QA Hospital regularly, including last Friday.
• Infection rates are high across the whole Havant Constituency, including many parts of Hayling Island, so we cannot split off some parts of the constituency from others into lower Tiers.
(In fact, you will see that ALL parts our Constituency are coloured either light blue or dark blue – indicating the highest rates. Some parts are coloured purple, which is the very highest infection rate.) Localised data for our constituency can be found here: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/interactive-map
Residents have sacrificed a lot this year, so let's redouble our efforts and work together to get the infection rates down again so we can return to a lower Tier of restrictions.
(Photo: Alan Mak and Health Secretary Matt Hancock before the COVID outbreak began).