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With another sunny bank holiday on the horizon, Portsmouth’s health, culture and tourism leaders are issuing a plea to people to use the city’s parks, open spaces and seafront wisely.

While the latest Government advice does allow people to spend more time outdoors and to travel to other locations for exercise and relaxation, there are still steps to be followed to keep people safe and reduce the spread of the virus.

Cllr Steve Pitt, Portsmouth City Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, said: “We’re encouraged to see that people continue to follow the Government’s instructions to stay home wherever possible. Under normal circumstances, we love welcoming visitors to our wonderful city, but we are living through strange times. As tempting as it is, we’re asking people to please follow the guidance, stay home as much as you can – and don’t visit Portsmouth yet.”

As well as asking people from further afield to think twice before making a visit to Portsmouth, local residents have a part to play too. Signage is going up across the city to encourage the safe use of open spaces, and people are being encouraged to make the most of quieter roads by walking and cycling to their destinations wherever possible.

Helen Atkinson, the council’s Interim Director of Public Health said: “If you’re planning a trip out this bank holiday, I’d urge you to take every precaution to help keep yourself and others safe. While you can meet one other person from outside your household, remember to keep 2m social distance at all times.

“Pay attention to your surroundings, and wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds when you get home. The guidelines are there to keep people safe.”

A large number of the tourism and culture hot spots in Portsmouth are currently closed but are hard at work to make sure that, once it is safe to do so, they are in a good position to welcome visitors back to the great waterfront city.

Helen Bonser-Wilton, Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust said: “The Mary Rose, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Gunwharf Quays and many other visitor businesses in the city are working hard on social distancing measures to ensure that we can welcome visitors as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, please stay at home and plan your visit using the resources on individual attraction websites and the Visit Portsmouth website.”

While some sports facilities are open, they too have strict rules in place – people using these facilities must do so in line with those rules. Find out more at the council’s dedicated coronavirus pages.

The seafront roads are closed to vehicles to give more space for people to social distance whilst they run, walk and cycle along the seafront. The road is closed between two sections:

  • the ocean at the end of the lane (Western end of Canoe Lake) and St George’s Road
  • the D-Day Car Park to Hovertravel.

A number of car parks at the seafront are closed (Canoe Lake, Pyramids, D-Day), some are restricted to residents (Clarence Pier, Southsea Common (near the Kings Hotel), Broad Street) and some are only for residents, permit holders and hovercraft customers (Seafront esplanade).

Read the Government’s guidance on staying safe outside your home.

If people think they see activity that breaches social distancing guidelines, they can report it to the police using their online form.

If people think a business is operating in a way it shouldn’t be, people can report it to us using this form.