Tier four restrictions begin in Fareham with residents continuing to enjoy the town centre on Boxing Day

AS TIER four restrictions hit the rest of Hampshire outside Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant today, people continued to venture into Fareham to enjoy the high street and find Boxing Day sales.

By Richard Lemmer
Saturday, 26th December 2020, 3:57 pm

More than six million people across the country woke up today to find their area in tier four restrictions, with residents in Fareham now joining Portsmouth, Gosport, and Havant under more stringent measures to curtail the spread of Covid-19.

Residents were still out enjoying the high street this morning, with reports of heavy traffic coming from Gosport.

Fareham central resident Penny Howes, getting a takeaway coffee alongside her husband and daughter, said the roads were surprisingly busy.

Fareham town centre on Boxing Day as parts of Hampshire started their first day in tier four. Picture: Sarah Standing (261220-9963)

She said: ‘There was was a lot of traffic, and we were thinking – where they going?

‘There was still so much traffic coming in and out of Gosport.’

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She added that it seemed ‘strange’ that Fareham did not enter tier four at the same time as Gosport and Portsmouth, meaning the change felt like prime minister had had to backtrack at the last minute.

Penny and Mark Howes with their daughter Elodie, 10, from Fareham. Picture: Sarah Standing (261220-650)

The 41-year-old said: ‘With Gosport going into tier four, MPs were saying, “why not put Fareham in tier two when it’s so close?”. It didn’t make a lot of sense.’

One group of Gosport residents had come into the town centre to do some essential shopping at Boots in Fareham Shopping Centre.

Tracey Slade, alongside her 18-year-old son Kieran and her friend Karen Worby, said: ‘We were looking forward to the Boxing Day sales – we’re surprised that some shops are still open, and there were no queues, which was good.

From left, Tracy Slade, 43, Karen Worby, 47, and Kieran Slade, 18, from Gosport. Picture: Sarah Standing (261220-632)

‘People seem peeved with the change. It felt like we had no time to plan.

‘My brother was meant to be come down from Nottingham but that was cancelled.’

But others felt that there had been too much criticism of the tier system – and it was important to remain positive.

Redlands Lane resident Emma Nash, alongside her partner Tim Bourne, said: ‘It’s hard – everyone on Facebook is so critical.

Emma Nash and Tim Bourne from Fareham. Picture: Sarah Standing (261220-644)

‘We were meant to get married this year but we had to cancel it because of Covid.

‘We’ve managed to rearrange it and not lose any money.’

Tim added: ‘You’ve got to look on the bright side. Our ancestors went through hell with wars and disasters – this is nothing.’

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