COMMENT: We may come to regret the easing of restrictions

We all know it's been a very long haul to get where we are today. Life has been turned upside down because of the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions imposed on us.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 12:00 am

But we've done what we've been asked to do because we accepted it was for the greater good.

We also put up with months and months of lockdown because we believed that if we did that, one day it would be over and we could get back to normal.

Well now we've almost arrived at 'freedom day'. Prime minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that restrictions, including social distancing and the mandatory use of face masks, will end as planned on July 19.

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So we should be happy, right? Certainly there are those who can hardly wait to take off their masks and do all the things they've been denied for so long. Businesses such as nightclubs are desperate to open again.

We understand where they're coming from. But at the same time we can't help feeling uneasy about unlocking the country at a time when figures show Covid cases among teenagers and young adults in Portsmouth are soaring.

Today we report that the latest breakdown of coronavirus cases in the city has shown a huge spike among those aged between 20 and 24, with 148 instances recorded in the week of July 1 - equivalent to 616.8 cases per 100,000 people in that age group. Cases have also surged in those aged between 15 and 19.

This is a worrying new trend and we quite understand why Portsmouth City Council leader Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson believes restrictions should not be dropped yet.

He says the government is 'taking an enormous risk' with our health.

Should we be getting rid of restrictions at this time?

If cases keep rising and we end up back in lockdown this winter, we may come to regret it.