THE NEW Forest is to remain in Covid Tier 2 while some areas of Hampshire will be moved into Tier 3.

The local authorities in Hampshire which will remain in Tier 2 (High) are New Forest District Council, Test Valley Borough Council, Winchester City Council, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, East Hampshire District Council, Eastleigh Borough Council, Fareham Borough Council, Hart District Council, Rushmoor Borough Council, Test Valley Borough Council and Winchester City Council.

However, from Saturday, December 19 Havant Borough and Gosport Borough will move into COVID Tier 3 (Very High) restrictions.

Hampshire County Council is urging residents to continue adhering to Covid-19 rules.

Councillor Keith Mans, the leader of Hampshire County Council and chair of the Local Outbreak Engagement Board, said: “Central Government has confirmed that the local authority areas of Havant Borough and Gosport Borough will come under Covid Tier 3 (Very High) restrictions from Saturday 19 December. Other parts of the Hampshire County Council local authority area remain in Tier 2 (High).

“This is a stark reminder to everyone that cases of the virus continue to rise, and we must work together, follow the rules and do everything we can to protect one another. We obviously want to try and bring the infection rates down across the county as a whole and get back to a lower Tier as quickly as possible - especially as we are now in the colder months when people’s health can be more at risk. What we do now, will make a big difference to how we fare over the winter. So, while we wait for the vaccine to roll out, following the rules for your area is the best protection we have for ourselves, our communities, and our loved ones.

“With Christmas just days away, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has also stressed that a smaller and shorter Christmas is going to be safer this year. This means we also need to think very carefully about the additional risks associated with establishing a Christmas Bubble – and consider what more we can all do to protect ourselves and our loved ones, particularly those who are elderly or clinically extremely vulnerable.”

While the option of creating a Christmas Bubble will remain – allowing three households to meet over five days from 23 December to 27 December - latest Government guidance urges residents to:

• Minimise days together

• Minimise numbers together

• Try and reduce the number of people you are in contact with to the lowest possible before joining your Christmas Bubble

• Avoid travel from a high prevalence to a low prevalence area

• Avoid overnight stays

• Try and delay seeing elderly relatives until they have been vaccinated

• Avoid crowds in the Boxing Day sales

• Avoid gathering in large groups to see in the New Year

The next government review of the Tier system in England is expected to take place on Wednesday, December 30.