Fordingbridge Christmas Glow cancelled amid Omicron fears as New Forest Covid cases more than double in a week
FORDINGBRIDGE'S Christmas Glow event which was scheduled to take place on Saturday has been cancelled amid concerns over the Omicron variant.
The first report in Hampshire was made on Monday with three Basingstoke residents isolating and key contacts are being traced, Hampshire County Council said.
Nicky Jenkins, chair of Fordingbridge Events Group, said it was with great regret the decision had been made.
“Many of the stalls and entertainment booked have had to pull out," she said. "We are gutted to have to cancel but we don’t want our first event back after such a long break to be a compromise and a big let-down.”
Festive events are still being held around the town, including a craft fair at the United Reformed Church and kids' activities at the Created By You fabric shop and pottery studio.
There will also be a Star Wars-themed event at the town hall organised by toy store All The Cool Stuff.
In the New Forest on Tuesday the number of weekly cases Covid stood at 1,050, more than double the last week of August when the number was 484. It equates to a rate per 100,000 people of 584.5 – surpassing the UK rate of 478.9.
According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there were three deaths in hospital in the district in the latest weekly update.
The ONS figures showed six deaths in the BCP Council area, which includes Christchurch. The weekly number of cases in the BCP area stood at 2,659, meaning a rate per 100,000 of 669.8.
The provisional ONS fatality figures related to Covid-19 being mentioned on the death certificate up to 26th November but registered up to 4th December.
This week, Hampshire County Council urged residents not to "jeopardise our much-cherished plans for Christmas" and stick to the rules recently introduced by the government.
Cllr Keith Mans, HCC leader, said: “With cases rising everywhere and the emergence of this new variant, it is really important that we all take the necessary steps to protect ourselves and those closest to us during this busy festive period.
“After the successful nationwide vaccination roll-out, it is critical we don’t lose the progress we have already made in getting life back to normal or jeopardise our much-cherished plans for Christmas.”
The Omicron variant has already forced Oakhaven Hospice to cancel all its indoor Christmas events, including its Dining Divas lunches at the Montagu Arms in Beaulieu.
The Light up a Life commemorative services at Lymington’s St Thomas Church and a new service at St John’s Church in Hythe, previously scheduled for Monday and Tuesday next week respectively, will be replaced with a pre-recorded online service at www.oakhavenhospice.co.uk/light-up-a-life from 17th December.