A CHANGE to the Covid-19 alert status in Hampshire would likely be applied to the whole county, rather than individual areas, the chief executive of the council has confirmed.

In a statement, chief executive of Hampshire County Council, John Coughlan, said that it would be “preferable for all” for any change in tier to be implemented across Hampshire, as opposed to individual districts.

Currently, Hampshire is classed as the lowest category of Tier One, which represents a medium alert, with three being the highest.

Mr Coughlan said the council is monitoring the situation in Hampshire adding: “As the public health authority for the county of Hampshire, we are monitoring infection rates across Hampshire on a continuous basis, and are working daily and closely with our partners including district and borough councils.”

He said a recommendation to change the county’s alert level would be based on a “range of public health indicators and considerations” including the number of cases, the pattern of infection, the number of people admitted into acute hospital settings and how those settings are coping.

“The county council must also take into account the overall position of central government in relation to any local decision making,” he said, adding: “There is no simple or single indicator that represents an obvious threshold for such a decision.

“At this stage, the county council’s position is clear that should there be a need for a change in alert status in the county, it would be generally preferable for all, for it to be implemented at a county-wide level, rather than by individual districts.

“This will support more effective management of the virus through collective enforcement and enable clear and consistent public messaging with regard to restrictions and advice.”

However, he said should any local decisions be made these will be communicated clearly, adding: “It is therefore conceivable that Southampton could move to a separate level from Romsey if the evidence required such a move.

“In the meantime, everyone has a part to play to stay safe and prevent the spread of the virus.”