Portsmouth will be thrown into Tier 4 restrictions from midnight tonight (Saturday) with the Government very clearly stating that people shouldn’t travel to or from the area, throwing up questions about ferry travel to the Isle of Wight.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in a press conference from Downing Street this afternoon that millions of people in London and the South East – including Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant – will find themselves under tough Tier 4 lockdown restrictions from tomorrow.
Those in Tier 4 areas are being told not to travel outside of their local community and those in Tiers 1 to 3 are being told not to travel into Tier 4 zones.
Alarmingly, Wightlink’s Fishbourne car ferry and Fastcat catamaran service both travel to Portsmouth, with Hovertravel’s Ryde to Southsea service also landing in the Tier 4 restricted area. Both cross-Solent operators employ people living in the City of Portsmouth.
It is unclear this hour how these latest restrictions will affect those travelling to and from the Island via Portsmouth.
Islanders hoping to get some last minute Christmas shopping in Pompey will instead have to travel to Southampton, with all non-essential retail closing in Portsmouth in the next 7 hours.
The restrictions will remain in place until at least 30th December when the Government will review the tiers. However, there is growing concern that the whole country will be thrown into a third national lockdown in January.
In response to this evening’s news, many Islanders are calling for pubs and hotels in Ryde to check IDs for local addresses amid fears those from Portsmouth will hop across the Solent.