SIR: With many of the national Covid-19 restrictions now eased and a cautious return to freedoms we have long been missing, I would like to take the opportunity to thank your readers for all that they have done over the past year and more, and for the personal sacrifices made to keep each other and our communities safe across Hampshire.

The past months have been the most challenging that many of us can remember.

Significant personal sacrifices have been made by thousands of local people – from our social care and health workers, to our teachers and educational support staff – and of course the many families who have been unable to visit loved ones in care homes, and everyone who has lost someone close to them to the pandemic.

It is to these residents, as well as the legions of community volunteers and the hundreds of thousands who have played their part by staying at home, getting tested and vaccinated, self-isolating, wearing face coverings and much more, to whom I would like to extend my sincere thanks.

Of course, the virus remains with us and the numbers testing positive are once again rising rapidly, so while we enjoy returning to a semblance of normality, I would urge the public to continue to exercise caution and to maintain the very helpful practices we have become so used to.

Doing this will help us to keep well and prepare for what may be a very challenging autumn and winter.

Keith Mans,


Hampshire County Council,

The Castle,