Coronavirus: council service information and advice

Information about changes to council services as a result of coronavirus

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Portsmouth City Council is working closely with Public Health England, local health protection teams, the NHS and other organisations to ensure we are well prepared as the situation develops.

Our priority is to ensure critical local services to Portsmouth residents continue to run and that we are directing people to the most up-to-date official sources of information and advice.

Information for the public on the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), including the current situation in the UK, details about the virus and its symptoms, and guidance on self-isolating at home is  available on the NHS website. It's updated when new information is available.

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.

To understand how best to prevent the spread of coronvirus and protect yourself, have a look at these easy-to-read guides:

Follow our guidance on social distancing

Latest NHS health advice

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading

Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus. You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:

  • to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to. Essentials includes topping up your energy - if you're self-isolating or a vulnerable person and can't top up, read advice given on the BBC website and Switched On Portsmouth website.
  • to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
  • for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
  • to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary

    These 4 reasons are exceptions. Even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

What to do if you have coronavirus symptoms

Continue to stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly

To protect others - don't go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You don't need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.

Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.

Use the online 111 coronavirus serviceOnly call 111 if you cannot get help online.

How long to stay at home

  • if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
  • if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms

If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.

If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible. Read the NHS  advice about staying at home.

Looking after your health and wellbeing

To help yourself stay well while you're at home:

  • stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media
  • try to keep yourself busy – you could try activities like cooking, reading, online learning and watching films
  • do light exercise at home, or outside once a day

Urgent advice: use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days


Use the online 111 coronavirus service
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

What to do if you need medical help for another reason:

If you need medical help not related to coronavirus, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

  • For health information and advice, use the NHS website or check your GP surgery website.
  • For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. Only call 111 if you're unable to get help online.
  • For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance.

Parking advice

Parking

The suspension of paid for parking in Portsmouth City Council car parks and on-street pay and display parking has come into effect immediately. Please note: limited waiting parking where shops and other premises are open during the day will continue to be enforced for deliveries and customers.

Residents can support us in maintaining the safe flow of traffic by not parking vehicles on any yellow lines or in places where it is not safe to leave a vehicle or where it causes an obstruction. The yellow lines highlight areas where it can be dangerous to park, or where leaving your vehicle can be a hazard to other road users.

Please only report any vehicles to  tmcoperators@portsmouthcc.gov.uk that are

  • on yellow lines, dangerously parked and causing a hazard the road
  • parked in a disabled bay without a blue badge
  • parked across a dropped kerb or access
  • left abandoned in a dangerous condition

Resident parking zones

From 25 March, resident parking zone bays, other than disabled parking pays, will no longer be enforced. This measure means essential visitors and carers will no longer require visitors permits, critical workers coming home late will be able to park across zone boundaries and people self-isolating will not have to be concerned about moving their vehicles. Residents are asked where possible to keep their permit up to date. 

Residents that have a Residential Parking Zone permit will be compensated for the time the zone is not operating and details of this will be confirmed when we warn residents that the zone will start operating.

Resident parking permits

To apply for a residents parking permit or renew an existing permit, please complete the online application form located on our  Residents Parking Permits page.

If you do not have access to the internet, please ask friends or family for help.

Visitor parking permits

Visitor permits are not required while the resident parking zones are not being enforced.

Blue Badges

Blue Badges will be posted to residents, once applications are agreed and issued, instead of in person collection.

If you have any queries please call the Blue Badge team on 023 9284 1176 or email  bluebadges@portsmouthcc.gov.uk 

Contact us

If you have parking permit problems please call us on 02392 688310 or email parking@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Advice for council tenants

Council house repairs

Following the latest government coronavirus advice which includes minimising social contact, Portsmouth City Council is taking the sensible precaution to protect the public by reducing non-essential council services.

The decision has been taken to close non-essential services. Therefore, our priority will be to only undertake essential building maintenance repairs until further notice.

Only essential repairs will be undertaken that will include the following examples;

  • Loss of essential services such as no heating or hot water or water supply
  • Electrical faults causing danger or no electric supply or loss of lighting
  • Water leaks or ingress of water causing damage
  • Blocked drains or WC not working where no alternative toilet
  • Building structural issues or weather tightness such as roof leaks
  • Building security including entrance door security or temporary boarding and intruder alarms
  • Gas servicing and repairs
  • Health and safety issues and make safe repairs
  • Essential work to ensure disabled adaptations remain operational such as stair lift repairs
  • Asbestos removal to facilitate emergency work
  • Compliance checks such as fire, legionella and emergency lighting

When you report a repair we will ask you if you or anyone in your home is self-isolating, if someone is self-isolating at the property we will ask them to move into a room away from the area of work where the repair needs to be undertaken with the door closed, so that we can keep everyone safe and well.

If you report a non-essential repair we will take the details and when services are reinstated will contact you to arrange a suitable convenient appointment.

Dos and dont's for avoiding coronarvirus

Do:

  • stay at home - only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work
  • if you go outside, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
  • only travel on public transport if absolutely necessary
  • work from home, if you can
  • avoid all social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
  • avoid all gatherings of more than two people
  • use phone,  online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services

Don't:

  • touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • have visitors to your home, including friends and family

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.

Product pricing

Some products in food shops may be for sale at a higher price than before coronavirus. Residents are advised that shops are legally able to sell products for any price and it is up to you whether it is purchased at the price set. In this situation, you may wish to try to source a product(s) from another shop.

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

Who's at high risk of catching coronavirus?

The Government has issued advice for what it is calling 'extremely vulnerable' groups. 

This includes children and adults with specific conditions including:

  • those who have had organ transplants
  • those with certain types of cancers and cancer treatments
  • those taking immunosuppression drugs
  • those with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD​.
  • have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections
  • are pregnant and have a serious heart condition

​​ You can read the advice on the Government's website.

If you're at high risk, you will be contacted by the NHS by Sunday 29 March 2020. Do not contact your GP or healthcare team at this stage – wait to be contacted.

Advice for people at high risk:

If you're at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, there are extra things you should do to avoid catching it.

These include:

  • not leaving your home – you should not go out to do shopping, visit friends or family, or attend any gatherings
  • avoiding close contact with other people in your home as much as possible


Read the full  advice on protecting yourself if you're at high risk from coronavirus on GOV.UK

Self-isolating advice

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

Rubbish

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:

Pest control advice

At this time we are unable to provide a normal pests 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. These products can be purchased from DIY stores, such as B&Q or Homebase.
  • Stop 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 clean potential food sources. Remember to wash down food preparation areas regularly if you have an suspicion of rodents in your home.

How to avoid spreading and catching coronavirus 

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.

The government is recommending social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). It is intended for use in situations where people are living in their own homes, with or without additional support from friends, family and carers.

Those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) are advised to take extra care in following social distancing measures.

This includes people:

  • are 70 or over
  • have a long-term condition
  • are pregnant
  • have a weakened immune system

The full list of medical conditions can be seen in the government's social distancing advice along with details of what measures are being advised.

Further advice is available on the NHS website's guidance on social distancing and preventing the spread of coronavirus.

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:

Takeaways and food delivery

According to 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. gov.uk  ​

Ibuprofen advice

There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus and no strong evidence that Ibuprofen can make coronavirus (COVID-19) worse.

But until there is more information, the NHS advises people take paracetamol to treat the symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you paracetamol is not suitable for you.

If you are already taking ibuprofen or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) on the advice of a doctor, do not stop taking it without checking first.

You can find out more about medicines for adults here.

Council service information

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