There is no threat of Hampshire being put under local lockdown restrictions in the near future, the council leader has said.

At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday evening, Cllr Ken Rhatigan said: “I have been on a Local Outbreak meeting today and I can assure you that the numbers for Hampshire are exceedingly low in terms of covid cases, so much so that there does not look to be the threat currently of a local lockdown.”

Councillors discussed government guidance and funding recently issued to local authorities, to provide financial support to both those affected by track and trace requested isolation period, and to businesses adversely affected in the event of local lockdowns.

“I hope that the need for these powers are to be put to the back burner until the situation worsens,” said Cllr Rhatigan.

The comments come after the number of recorded coronavirus cases in Hampshire increased by 296 last weekend, as official figures across the UK were revised up by thousands due to a data error.

Public Health England figures show that 6,350 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 9am on Monday (October 5) in Hampshire, up from 6,054 the same time on Friday.

Basingstoke and Deane has also seen an increase, with nine new lab-confirmed cases reported today, Wednesday 7 October.

The two mandatory support schemes are the Test and Trace Isolation Payments and the Local Restrictions Support Grant.

The first will allow people contacted by Test and Trace and asked to self-isolate since September 28 to apply for a sum of £500 to help alleviate the burden of lost income.

This will be provided for people currently receiving a form of income support, and on a discretionary basis for others.

The second scheme can be utilised in the event of local coronavirus restrictions, and gives the council the power to offer eligible businesses a discretionary grant of up to £1,500.

Cllr Hannah Golding, cabinet member for finance and service improvement, said: “I do welcome these. I think it’s very important that we continue to support businesses and local residents, particularly those who may be more financially vulnerable.

“In terms of lockdown, that is from my understanding focussed on the business side of things, but the Test and Trace [Payments] would be eligible for any resident who was contacted now.”

“We will have online forms where they’re appropriate, but people can also get assistance to fill those in, in person, if that’s what they need.”

The cabinet agreed to grant delegated powers to the council’s Executive Director for Corporate Services (S151 Officer), in consultation with Cllr Golding, for both discretionary schemes.