THE county council insists it will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation in Hampshire, despite challenges in accurately recording cases.

Every month, Hampshire County Council’s local outbreak engagement board is supposed to meet so that health experts can update cabinet members on the state of play in the county.

So far, four of the five scheduled meetings this year have been cancelled – and it has been struck off the county council’s calendar for the remainder of the year.

A spokesperson for Hampshire County Council confirmed that these meetings will no longer be taking place, as the council’s Covid strategy continues to evolve.

The spokesperson said: "We do continue to closely monitor Covid data as part of our ongoing response to the virus, in line with the government’s living with Covid-19 strategy.

"During the pandemic, the Local Outbreak Engagement Board provided strategic oversight of Hampshire’s health protection response to Covid-19, including latest surveillance data. However, since national restrictions were lifted, available Covid data has changed and the virus is now managed like other respiratory diseases, with information now monitored as part of our day-to-day public health protection activity in Hampshire.

"Updates continue to be reported via channels which include the county council’s keep Hampshire safe Covid information webpages – which also feature latest government sources of Covid-19 intelligence and data, as well as details of current Covid-safe behaviours."

Last month, free Covid-19 testing for the general population came to an end, as the government scaled back its response to the pandemic.

Health care workers can still get free lateral flow testing through an online ordering system.

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Kimberley Barber