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Changing Covid-19 rules: Tier 2 High level alert for Portsmouth

As Portsmouth prepares to move into the Tier 2 High level alert once national restrictions are lifted from 2 December, residents and business are urged to make sure they understand what has changed, and importantly what has not.

Hospitality, retail and entertainment in Portsmouth will now be allowed to operate under Tier 2 Covid-19 rules, with non-essential shops, bars and restaurants and personal care venues, such as hairdressers and barbers, opening again to the public, as well as gyms and some other sporting venues. Restrictions remain in place in these venues in order to keep people safe.

Portsmouth City Council’s Deputy Leader Councillor Steve Pitt says: “It’s essential everyone follows the rules because we need our retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure business to open and stay open. We can all do our bit to make sure that happens and if we do, then we will see our infection rates continue to fall.”

Socialising with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble indoors anywhere is not allowed under Tier 2, and socialising outside, including in private gardens or public spaces, is limited to no more than six people.

With Christmas shopping and other seasonal preparations on everyone’s mind the City Council’s Director of Public Health Helen Atkinson shares her advice as Tier 2 High alert level comes into force: “It’s great to see infection rates across the city starting to come down due to the impact of the national restrictions, and it’s right that we can now move to Tier 2. However, we need to remain cautious – we still need to keep 2m social distance, and we need to continue with the ‘new normal’ of wearing face coverings, at the very least where the rules say we should, and continue to wash our hands more often. We can now go to the shops and we can now see more of our friends and families again, as long as it is within ‘the rule of six’.

“Reducing our own personal risk is vital. So if people need to come into your home, a carer or plumber for example, then open windows to get fresh air in and allow any virus breathed into the air to escape outside – even though it’s much harder in winter as we need to keep warm too. Phoning or group chatting online instead of meeting in person will help limit the spread of the virus. When Christmas shopping, going at less busy times to avoid indoor spaces when it’s harder to keep a social distance will really help to keep you and the people you care about as safe as possible.”

As Portsmouth’s venues reopen, check-ins will continue to be mandatory for both patrons and venues. Anyone using the NHS Covid-19 app can scan a QR code on a poster on display at the venue, or through a manual log provided by the venue.

For further advice visit the council’s coronavirus information page at Those without internet access who need information, advice or guidance, can call the council’s coronavirus information line on 023 9268 8004.

Notes to Editors

Key guidance

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people – follow the ‘rule of six’ when meeting outdoors
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2m apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly

What to do if you get symptoms

If you or someone you live with has any symptoms of Covid-19, a high temperature, a new or continuous cough, or a loss or change to, your sense of smell or taste, visit the NHS website to find out what you need to do, including getting tested. You can book a test online at or by calling 119. You can find information about how to self-isolate properly and the support that is available at

Self-isolation payments

People who are facing financial hardship as a result of self-isolating and who are in receipt of certain benefits may be eligible for a £500 self-isolation payment. People who are eligible can apply online at