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.

  • Public Health England publishes the latest information about the number of cases of coronavirus by local authority area, so you can view the data for Portsmouth. View Public Health England's coronavirus data website.
  • The Office For National Statistics provides the weekly number of deaths from coronavirus by local authority area, so you can view the data for Portsmouth. View the ONS weekly deaths registration data.

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.

Follow our guidance on social distancing

Health and wellbeing advice

Stay alert. Control the virus. Save lives.

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)

Wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has any of the following:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

If you or someone you live with has any of these symptoms it's important to visit the NHS website to find out what you need to do, including getting tested.

To view all the latest health advice, visit NHS.UK's coronavirus information.

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.

Our 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 also 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

Urgent Dental Care centres (also known as hubs) have been set up to meet the needs of specific groups of people with urgent dental care needs during the current pandemic. This includes those with confirmed or possible COVID-19; or living with someone with symptoms, and those who are in the 'shielded' or increased risk categories.

These hubs allow appropriate separation and treatment of patients in different categories.

All patients will need referral by a dentist to visit these hubs. This may be a dentist you usually see or another local dental practice which should still be providing phone advice. If you don't have a dentist you can find a local one who could refer you:

Each patient will then be asked some questions over the phone by the urgent dental care hub to decide what course of action is needed. Face to face treatment is available when clinically required.

Wellbeing advice 

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

Help the NHS respond to coronavirus

You can use the quick NHS coronavirus status checker to tell the NHS about your current experience of the virus.

This will help the NHS plan its response to coronavirus by showing where the virus is spreading and how it affects people.

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.

Local food deliveries

HIVE Portsmouth has developed a directory of Portsmouth businesses that are delivering locally, which are shown in the map. It's updated every week and if you'd like your business added, please email:


Supermarket advice

Stay at home - only shop for basic necessities, as infrequently as you can.

Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people and wash your hands as soon as you get home. The government is closing all non-essential shops and community spaces.

Shop with others in mind

Major supermarkets have written a joint letter reassuring customers they are taking extra steps to ensure they continue to stock the food and essentials people need.

They are asking everyone to be considerate in what they buy and not purchase more than they need. There should be plenty to go round for everyone.

The Leader of Portsmouth City Council has written to supermarkets asking for reassurance around this, which is part of a  12-point action plan.

Face covering

Latest government advice is that you should wear a face covering if you can 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 e.g. shops. 

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 is not the same as the masks that those in the NHS or care roles need to use.

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.

Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 2 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. For example, primary age children unassisted, or those with respiratory conditions.

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 covering at  

Product pricing

We have had reports of businesses behaving unfairly when selling some household essentials. If you feel a business has been behaving unfairly, you can report it to us using our online form.

You can get further information from the Citizens Advice Consumer Service website or by calling 0808 223 1133.

Government advice

The government has published advice on food and food shopping

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.

Self-isolating advice in different languages

Advice from Gov.UK on self-isolating is available to read in a number of different languages:

Business closures

The government is asking some non-essential shops and public venues to close. It is also encouraging businesses to work from home unless it is impossible to do so.

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 can remain open. View open and closed businesses on Gov.UK.

Our environmental health team are contacting 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.  ​

Library delivery service available through Hive Portsmouth

The library service is working with HIVE Portsmouth to offer a new delivery service.

If you are staying home they can bring books, DVDs, and games to your door to help keep you entertained.

Simply call the HIVE community helpline on 023 9261 6709 to arrange a delivery and tell us what you would like. You can choose from the following:

Types of books: adults, children; large print; audio books; theme; fiction, non-fiction; thriller / romance / adventure; favourite authors;

Other items:  jigsaws, games, children's DVDs, crafts, colouring sheets etc.

A volunteer will pick a selection of books and other items for you from the library and drop them off at your address - following social distancing guidelines.

Your books and other items will be picked up again after 4 weeks and a new selection delivered if you want to swap.

If you're a fast reader or would like a collection earlier than 4 weeks - you can call the Hive community helpline back on 023 9261 6709 to arrange an earlier pick up and swap.

Unfortunately we can't take request for specific books but our library staff can consider favourite authors and themes and provide a selection around what you are interested in.

Blind and visually-impaired residents will be put in touch with a member of library staff who will be able to advise on the many resources available for them.

All books, games, DVDs etc. will be sanitised in line with Public Health England guidance before they are delivered and when they are returned.

Social distancing measures are in place at libraries to ensure the safety of volunteers and library staff.

Libraries also have a huge online range of free resources, accessed with a library card and password, including eBooks; eAudiobooks; comics; magazines; newspapers (including The Portsmouth News) and music downloads. Visit to find out more. 

You can find out more about HIVE Portsmouth at

Pest control advice

At this time we are unable to provide a normal pest control service. Please read our advice if you experience a large infestation in your home:

  • If you know the location of the rats, you can set traps or place bait.
  • Stopping rodents by making it difficult for them to enter the home or structure is key. Focus on low level gaps first as these are the most likely areas for rodents to enter - fill these with wire-wool or cement (or similar) and then consider any higher up vents or gaps.
  • In the home - declutter and remove potential food sources. Remember to wash down food preparation areas regularly if you have a suspicion of rodents in your home.

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.