The News year in review May: Hospitality reopens but warnings that Portsmouth was lagging behind in vaccination campaign

May saw another cautious step along the road out of tough lockdown restrictions with landlords and restaurateurs inviting punters back inside.

Monday, 27th December 2021, 9:00 am
Stubbington man Jamie Roe had a bleed on the brain after having the AstraZeneca vaccine and had to learn to walk again
Picture: Habibur Rahman
Stubbington man Jamie Roe had a bleed on the brain after having the AstraZeneca vaccine and had to learn to walk again Picture: Habibur Rahman

Tony Wingfield, landlord at Southsea’s Raven pub in Bedford Street, finally had people to serve after being shut throughout the lockdown.

He told The News he’d ‘missed them terribly’ and was delighted to be back at the beer pumps.

Ralphy Neale and his mother Jenna Picture: Chris Moorhouse (210421-14)

Regained freedoms were promised by the prime minister on the back of the vaccine programme.

Younger people were thought to believe they could not get seriously ill with Covid, the city’s public health director said.

Lisa Wadey hugs her mum Angela for the first time since lockdown restrictions were relaxed. Picture: Stuart Martin (220421-7042)

We spoke with members of the vaccinated older generation who in turn sent a powerful message to the younger generations to get the jab.

And in our duty to report the news as it happens, we covered how two people separately suffered extremely rare reactions to Covid jabs leaving them in a critical condition.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson sits in the cockpit of an Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II during a visit to HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier on May 21Picture: Leon Neal - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Both praised the NHS for saving their lives and said the benefits of the jab outweighed their awful experiences.

Despite the mid-month easing of rules, restrictions remained in place to protect against the virus - but as throughout the pandemic, life continued.

People once again had power in their hands as council elections were held on May 6.

Liberal Democrat leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson ultimately clung to power despite his party not having overall control.

Kirsty Hext, of West Leigh, who suffered a bad reaction to her Covid jab and was placed in an induced coma

His long-time Tory opponent Donna Jones left the Civic Offices for pastures new having been elected as the police and crime commissioner for Hampshire.

We also told you how Jenna Neale was battling for an ADHD diagnosis for her six-year-old son Ralphy, who has high functioning autism.

The West Leigh mum spoke out to highlight the difficulties in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.

It was a brave step for her and Ralphy to go public - they drew attention to the embattled service, which still to this day has long waiting times.

In the middle of the month, two VIP visitors graced Portsmouth in just as many days.

Her Majesty The Queen being greeted by the Commander UK Strike Group, Commodore Moorhouse on board HMS Queen Elizabeth

The Royal Navy flagship had returned to Portsmouth on May 19 - after leaving on May 1 for a two-week exercise - for supplies ahead of her seven-month deployment.

Prime minister Boris Johnson was pictured two days later on May 21 looking windswept as he stalked the deck of the carrier with Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North MP, and defence secretary Ben Wallace.

A day later the Queen's helicopter was spotted above the naval base - the first tip in the tightly-held secret she was due to visit ahead of the Carrier Strike Group deployment.

Morgan, 20, said it was an 'amazing opportunity' to meet the Queen while his dad Paul said she had a 'cheeky smile' when asking them about how they work together.

Kirsty Hext, centre, with Chloe Long and Tim Ray who were called out when she had an anaphylactic shock after a Covid vaccine Picture: Mike Cooter (090621)