Coronavirus: council service information and advice

Information about changes to council services as a result of coronavirus

Until further notice Southsea's seafront road will be closed on weekends and bank holidays and seafront car parks will only be open to residents and permit holders.

It comes after the council and police jointly decided to introduce restrictions to the seafront road and car parks at the weekend [28-29 March] to prevent large numbers of people gathering in the area.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council said: "I know the vast majority are acting responsibly however, everyone needs to act responsibly and follow the national guidance. The last thing we want to do is close public spaces, we know how important they are for people's mental health and wellbeing and it is fine for residents who live within walking or cycling distance of the seafront to use it for their daily exercise. What we can't have is large numbers of people travelling into the city to visit the seafront that goes against government's rules on essential travel and creates problems around social distancing. The steps we are taking are aimed at stopping people driving to Southsea."

In line with the closures last weekend the seafront car parks will only be open to residents and permit holders. The seafront road will be closed at weekends, 6am Saturday to 6pm Sunday, and where there is a bank holiday it will be extended to include this. For example Easter weekend will be closed from 6am Friday 10 April to 6pm Monday 13 April.

The introduction of national rules on social distancing means people should be staying at least two metres away from anyone they don't live with and if the city's residents don't follow this advice the council could be forced to introduce more closures.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson added: "People are suggesting the council close other sites such as parks, but at the moment we aren't doing this because we don't want to deprive people of green space. We will keep monitoring the situation and working with the police, hopefully people will act responsibly but if they don't we may have to take action. My message to everyone is please follow the national guidance including social distancing rules and check the council website for the latest local updates."

Following government instructions around social distancing the council closed play equipment wherever possible, including playgrounds and sports courts, and put signs on open play sites that can't be physically closed telling people not to use them, but has continued to allow public access to the fields and open space around them.