THE Winchester district will continue to be in Tier 2 after a review of Covid measures across England - but the picture is not the same for the whole of Hampshire.

The first official review into the coronavirus tiers was held by the Government yesterday (Wednesday) and this morning Health Secretary Matt Hancock made an announcement in Parliament.

The whole of Hampshire was placed in Tier 2 when the national lockdown ended on December 2, but in the latest announcement revealed that Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant will be moved into Tier 3 on Saturday.

Winchester, Southampton and the rest of Hampshire will remain in Tier 2.

Under the Tier 2 measures households are unable to mix indoors with the rule of six applying outdoors.

MP for Winchester and Chandler's Ford Steve Brine said: "With one of the lowest rates in the country, it would have been more than a little unfair to impose even more restrictions on Winchester at this time.

"We have made positive progress and the Winchester local authority area is in the bottom 20 out of 300 for rates (along with Eastleigh), but current restrictions will sadly remain in place.

"I have made the views of my constituents well known to Ministers – especially the impact on some of our hospitality venues – but I can understand persistently high rates in Portsmouth and other nearby areas make it very tricky to move us down to Tier 1 at this time.

"We need to work together now across the wider region - and follow the rules with great care - to get into Tier 1 and stay there."

Figures published yesterday showed that 32 new cases of coronavirus were reported for the district in the previous 24 hours, the highest tally since November 15.

There have been 1,919 cases since the start of the pandemic, up from 1,887, meaning an infection rate of 1,536.9 since March.

In the seven days to last Saturday, December 11, the Press Association national news agency reports there were 91 cases locally, compared to 60 in the previous seven days.

The rate per 100,000 people in the seven days to December 12 in the Winchester district was 72.9.