PEOPLE in Southampton have been told to stay safe over the Easter period as "Covid-19 is still with us". 

Dr Debbie Chase, Director of Public Health at the city council, gave the advice amid more than 1,000 new cases in the city over the past seven days. 

The total cases for the city are now at 80,442 and just last week, University Hospital Southampton suspended visiting due to rising Covid-19 and norovirus cases. 

Now Dr Chase has given advice to people living in the city to stay safe. 

She said: "Easter is a time to celebrate with friends and family, and as we look towards this bank holiday weekend, we want everyone to have a wonderful time whilst still staying safe.

READ MORE: University Hospital Southampton suspends visiting amid norovirus and coronavirus cases

"As Covid-19 is still with us, it is important that we continue to practise a few key behaviours to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe whilst further preventing the spread of the virus.

"These include washing your hands often, wearing a face covering in enclosed and crowded public spaces, ventilating your space when having visitors over or meeting outdoors to allow for fresh air flow, and most importantly getting vaccinated."

A total of 486,777 people have now been vaccinated in the area with 129,096 having had three doses.

Some 172,103 people have received two doses, and 185,578 have had their first dose. 

Dr Chase added: "Getting vaccinated remains the best form of protection against the virus."

READ MORE: South Central Ambulance Service declares critical incident

An urgent appeal has been issued by health chiefs in the county as emergency departments face significant pressure with more than 8,500 people attending in the last week. 

This has been put down to high rights of Covid-19 and staff sickness but now people are being urged to ensure they only visit an emergency department if it is an emergency. 

Last week South Central Ambulance declared a critical incident due to pressures currently being experienced.

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