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The Leader of Portsmouth City Council has thanked Portsmouth residents for their efforts in following the guidance to reduce the spread of coronavirus and urged them to continue to be careful as more restrictions are eased this weekend.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said; “The current situation in Portsmouth is incredibly positive with no new cases of coronavirus for the last seven days and only five new cases for the month of June. In fact, the city has one of the lowest infection rates of all upper-tier local authorities, ranking 136th out of 150 councils, and because of that government has confirmed it isn’t considering introducing the sort of measures seen in Leicester. This is down to how well Portsmouth residents have done in following the guidance to reduce the spread of the virus. I want to thank everyone for the sacrifices they’ve made as I appreciate it hasn’t been easy, especially being apart from family and friends.

“However, to remain in this position we must continue to take care, especially as more places re-open. It remains critically important for everyone to continue to follow the guidance around social distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene.”

This message comes as the city publishes its Outbreak Control Plan, as directed by government, outlining how it’s going to monitor and respond to any outbreaks of coronavirus in the city.

Helen Atkinson, Director of Public Health at Portsmouth City Council, said; “We all clearly want to minimise the rate of coronavirus infection in the city so that we can continue to enjoy the relaxing of lockdown restrictions. The Outbreak Control Plan will help us to achieve this. It details the steps we need to take, and the people we need to work with, to monitor cases in the city so that if there are two or more in any single place we can act quickly and look to stop further spread.

“If people continue to follow the guidance, including staying home and getting tested if they have symptoms, and self-isolating if they’re a close contact of a positive case, then we can remain in a positive position and won’t need to consider reverting back to lockdown restrictions.”