Coronavirus: council service information and advice

Information about changes to council services as a result of coronavirus



We're doing everything we can to make sure we are directing people to the most up-to-date information and advice. It's important to make sure you get information from official sources.

The NHS website has the latest information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), a new illness that affects your lungs and airways. View the NHS website's latest coronavirus information. If you, or someone you live with, has any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste) it's important to visit  the NHS website  to find out what you need to do, including getting tested.

The NHS website also has information about the new NHS Test and Trace service, which helps to contact people who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

The Government website has the latest information about what you need to do about coronavirus, including support for businesses. View Gov.UK's coronavirus information.

You can also ask questions on the Government's coronavirus information service on WhatsApp. The new free-to-use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), and will further reduce the burden on NHS services.

For the latest data on the number of cases and any deaths from coronavirus in Portsmouth visit the Local Outbreak Control Plan page

Health and wellbeing advice

Stay alert. Control the virus. Save lives.

Help control the virus

To protect yourself and others, when you leave home you must:

  • wash hands - keep washing your hands regularly
  • cover face - wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in enclosed spaces
  •  make space - stay at least a metre away from people not in your household

    If you are feeling unwell with a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste, get a test and do not leave home for at least 10 days.

Find out more on the NHS website.

Easy read version: Stay at home: what to do if you or someone you share your home with has coronavirus symptoms

NHS 111 Mental Health Triage Service

Are you, or someone you know, experiencing a crisis and need urgent mental health support? Call 111 or visit the NHS 111 website and speak to the NHS Mental Health Triage Service.

The NHS 111 mental health triage service provides advice, support and guidance, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for anyone living in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

The Mental Health Triage Team has a wide range of skills, including on the phone brief psychological support and has access to key services and organisations that can offer mental health support to people in their time of need. 

This service can also be used by GPs and other healthcare professionals, the emergency services, mental health charities and any other organisations that come into contact with people experiencing a mental health crisis.

The Mental Health Triage Service can be accessed by calling 111 or visiting the NHS 111 websiteIf you are experiencing a life threatening emergency, please call 999.

Keeping safe

Detailed advice on keeping safe, including domestic abuse support, can be found here.

Dental Care

The government has advised that dentists can re-open for routine face-to-face appointments from Monday 8 June. It might take some practices a little while to fully re-open and resume all services as they make sure that extra social distancing and hygiene measures are in place. They've been given clear guidance to ensure that dental treatment is safe for both the patient and dentist.

If you had an appointment cancelled from 25 March 2020, when dentists were instructed to close to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus, your dentist will likely make contact with you to reschedule. If you've got a new dental problem then please contact your dentist for support and advice. If you don’t have a dentist you can find one on the NHS website.

Some Urgent Dental Care (UDC) sites, which were set up to provide emergency dental care during the lockdown phase of the coronavirus outbreak, will remain operational to provide support as dentists return to normal services.

Wellbeing advice 

We know that many factors can influence our physical and mental wellbeing. There are many options available to help you keep healthy and happy:

Bereavement advice

The government has produced a leaflet on bereavement to help those who are going through the very difficult time of losing someone they love. It shares important information to help bereaved families, friends or next of kin make decisions during this national emergency and explains the next steps, answers some common questions, and guides you to the extra help and support that is available.

Download the bereavement advice leaflet.

Coronavirus crisis card

We've produced a guide which lists services and support that is available right now to help, listen and support you during this crisis. Take a look at the crisis card.

Face coverings 

Latest government advice is that you should wear a face covering when you're in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t always possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is currently mandatory:

  • on public transport
  • in shops (including supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, banks, post offices and cafes that you're buying food to take away)
  • at indoor transport hubs like train stations or airports
  • in hospitals and GP surgeries.

From 8 August it will also be mandatory in more public spaces like cinemas, libraries, places of worship, museums and community centres. You can see the full list on the government's advice page on face coverings.

You should be prepared to remove your face covering if asked to do so by police officers and staff for the purposes of identification.

A face covering can be a scarf or bandana, or any fabric, that covers the mouth and nose. It is not the same as the masks that those in the NHS or care roles need to use.

Some people are exempt from the face covering guidance such as those with disabilities or certain health conditions. It's also not compulsory for children under 11, and it is recommended that those aged under 3 don’t wear one for health and safety reasons. The government website has a list of people who are exempt from wearing one and they've also produced cards that you can choose to display if you are exempt so that people can see that there is a reason why you're not wearing one. You don’t have to do this though.

Face coverings do not replace social distancing. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, and/or high temperature, and/or loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste - anosmia), you and your household must isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this. You should also arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19.

It is important to use face coverings properly and wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off.

Find out more about face coverings on Gov.UK

Self-isolating advice

The NHS has advice for anyone who is self-isolating at home.


If you are self-isolating this is the national government advice detailing what you should do with your rubbish:

Personal waste (e.g. used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within your own room. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.

Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

We will continually review waste and recycling collection services that we are able to provide. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest information

Entertainment - free content from our libraries

You don’t have to visit our libraries to have access to loads of reading materials, films and music.

You can download ebooks, audio books, comics, newspapers, music, magazines, DVDs and audio books using your library card number and PIN.

Download the app from your app store or access the library online.

Self-isolating from work

There is information about getting an NHS self-isolation note if you need to provide evidence to your employer.

Report a business to trading standards

Based on government restrictions, some businesses still remain closed. Certain businesses that are allowed to open, for example restaurants or leisure centres, may also still be closed. Or, they may only open for certain services, if they can't follow some of the government's guidance on re-opening, for example enforcing social distancing.

If you visit certain businesses you'll be asked to provide your contact details. This is so that NHS Test and Trace can reach you if someone in that venue tests positive for coronavirus. Your details will be kept securely and only used for this purpose.

Find out more about providing your details for NHS Test and Trace.

If you are looking for support for your business, or have questions about coronavirus, visit our coronavirus businesses and employers page.

Residents can now a report a business to trading standards in the following ways:

Takeaways and food delivery

In line with Government advice, takeaway and food delivery facilities have remained open. View open and closed businesses on Gov.UK .
Our environmental health team have contacted takeaway and food delivery services in the city to make sure they have all the information and advice they need to operate, and to keep everyone safe. 

If you have any concerns, please contact us on publicprotection@portsmouthcc.  ​

Ibuprofen advice

The Commission of Human Medicines (CHM) Expert Working Group have concluded that there is currently not enough evidence to establish a link between the use of ibuprofen and increasing your chances of getting coronavirus or it worsening its symptoms.

You can take paracetamol or ibuprofen when self-medicating for coronavirus symptoms, such as fever and headache, and should follow NHS advice if you have any questions or if the symptoms get worse.

Council service information

For more information about how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting council services, visit the coronavirus page.