SOUTHAMPTON politicians have reacted to Government plans to ease covid restrictions further.

Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Monday night to say that coronavirus restrictions could end on July 19.

Mask-wearing, social distancing and nightclub closures could all be dropped in line with Step 4 of the Government’s plan to ease England’s lockdown.

Councillor Dan Fitzhenry said: "I think this is great news that the end of lockdown is coming and we can move towards getting Southampton back open.

"Getting our people out to do the things they used to and allowing people to make personal judgements on the restrictions.

The leader of Southampton City council added: "We have been working on how to manage our staff and getting people back into public buildings

Meanwhile, MP Royston Smith said: "The lifting of Covid restrictions is sensible in my opinion.

"All adults and vulnerable groups who wanted a vaccination have mostly had one.

"We always said the vaccination was the route out of the pandemic and it is proving to be so."

The Tory politician who represents Southampton Itchen went on to say: "It's now time for people to take responsibility and apply common sense while remaining cautious as we open up."

However, Labour MP for Southampton Test, Alan Whitehead, has urged caution.

He said: "What the Prime Minister is saying is more of an aspiration. He is saying it would be nice."

Mr Whitehead said the restrictions going is contingent on the number of cases in the next few weeks.

He made reference to an increase in Delta cases and added: "Absolutely, people are fed up.

"Indeed, I want to see the restrictions come to an end but you still need to be careful."

At a press conference on Monday, Mr Johnson said that the gap between coronavirus vaccine doses for the under-40s will be reduced from 12 weeks to eight in an acceleration of the rollout to allow all adults to be offered both jabs by mid-September.

However, he insisted that the pandemic is “far from over” and will not be over by July 19, with a potential 50,000 cases detected a day by that date.

He told the Downing Street press conference: “We’re seeing rising hospital admissions and we must reconcile ourselves sadly to more deaths from Covid."