England is now subject to National lockdown: Stay at Home restrictions. You must stay at home.
We need to be upfront about it – 2020 has been a year like no other.
How we mark the festive season – particularly Christmas and New Year – is going to be different. No matter how you choose to celebrate – or whether you celebrate at all – we think it’s important to recognise this is an important time of year for so many people.
While things will be different this year, we still wanted to be able to spread a little festive cheer. So we’re going to be sharing ideas on how you can celebrate from home safely, including a virtual advent calendar and a virtual high street to help you support Portsmouth businesses, as well as ways to support your local community and find ways of coping with this different festive season.
From Sunday 20 December, Portsmouth will be under Tier 4: Stay at Home restrictions. This means that you cannot meet other people indoors, including over the Christmas period, unless you live with them, or they are part of your existing support bubble. Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household. These rules will not be relaxed for Christmas.
Each day in the run up to Christmas, a new door will be revealed. Stay tuned for activity ideas, virtual events, ways to support your community and tips for coping with a different festive season.
From Sunday 20 December, new rules apply to Portsmouth. There are much tighter restrictions in place, meaning you should stay at home as much as possible.
The actions you take this December can and will have an impact. If we play our part now, we can help make 2021 a better year for everyone.
Keep playing your part for Portsmouth.
On Saturday 19 December, the Prime Minister confirmed that those living in tier 4 areas like Portsmouth should not mix with anyone outside their own household at Christmas, though support bubbles will remain in place for those at particular risk of loneliness or isolation.
Across the rest of the country, the Christmas rules allowing up to three households to meet will now be limited to Christmas Day only, rather than the five days as previously set out.
As before, there will be no relaxation on 31 December, so people must not break the rules at New Year.
Meeting people at Christmas
The general advice above also applies on Christmas Day, but you should also remember:
Opening hours for many of our services over the festive period – including the Civic Offices – are:
24, 25, 26, 27, 28 December – closed
29, 30, 31 December – open
1, 2, 3 January – closed
|Normal day||Revised day|
|Friday 25 December||Monday 28 December|
|Monday 28 December||Tuesday 29 December|
|Tuesday 29 December||Wednesday 30 December|
|Wednesday 30 December||Thursday 31 December|
|Thursday 31 December||Saturday 2 January|
|Friday 1 January||Monday 4 January|
|Monday 4 January||Tuesday 5 January|
|Tuesday 5 January||Wednesday 6 January|
|Wednesday 6 January||Thursday 7 January|
|Thursday 7 January||Friday 8 January|
|Friday 8 January||Saturday 9 January|
Please put your rubbish and recycling out by 7am. If you miss your collection, you can take it to the Port Solent Household Waste Recycling Centre (booking essential).
Green Waste Club: first collection in 2021 – Monday 4 January
Bulky waste: first collection 2021 – Tuesday 5 January
Healthcare waste: Wednesday and Thursday collections will happen as usual over the festive period.
Local Test Centres in Portsmouth and the Regional Test Centre in Southampton will be open every day over the festive season.
|Christmas and New Year opening hours|
|Day||Local Test Sites||Regional Test Site|
|Thursday 24 December||8am-8pm||8am-5pm|
|Friday 25 December||9am-3pm||9am-3pm|
|Saturday 26 December||8am-8pm||8am-8pm|
|Sunday 27 December||8am-8pm||8am-8pm|
|Monday 28 December||9am-3pm||9am-3pm|
|Thursday 31 December||8am-8pm||8am-5pm|
|Friday 1 January 2021||9am-3pm||9am-3pm|
To request a test call 119 or visit: gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
The port and freight gates are open as normal but there are no passenger services on 25 December. The customs agency is open every day (apart from 25 December) to support businesses with new customs rules.
If you are in need of additional support please visit the HIVE Portsmouth directory of services. The HIVE Portsmouth helpline (023 9261 6709) will be closed:
When the helpline is closed HIVE Portsmouth will continue to check social media messages and may refer you to other organisations that can offer you support. You can Find HIVE Portsmouth via @HIVEPortsmouth on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and send them a direct message.
Other local services
You can see more about how other local services are affected by Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions on our coronavirus webpages, in the advice for residents section.
There are lots of ways to keep your favourite local and independent businesses going.
Why not start a new festive tradition and give a little something back to your city?
If you or your family is struggling and in need of support over Christmas, there is help at hand. You are not alone.
Local food banks can provide emergency food parcels over Christmas and New Year. Foodbanks provide around three days food for your household if you can’t afford to buy food.
The Salvation Army on Albert Road is providing emergency food parcels from 24 Dec – 3rd Jan (including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) via phone request.
Call: 023 9282 1164
If you’re struggling to cope, feeling anxious, lonely or depressed, you’re not alone. You can call the Samaritans free anytime, from any phone, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year: on 116 123. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org
Young people or parents and carers worried about a child’s wellbeing can also contact Childline via the website childline.org.uk or by calling 0800 1111.
Help for rough sleepers
The Homeless Day Service is open every day, including Christmas Day, 8am-4pm. Anyone who is sleeping rough or at risk of sleeping rough can access the service for breakfast, snacks, hot drinks and other services like laundry facilities.
Call: 023 9288 2689
Visit: Yew House Ground Floor, Milton Road, PO3 6BA (next to Hope House)
If you need medical help, call the NHS on 111 or use NHS 111 online. Don’t just show up at the Emergency Department (Accident and Emergency) – use 111 first, and they’ll give you all the support you need.
If it is a medical emergency, call 999.
If you’re having a tough time financially, you can find information and help on our money advice page. Advice Portsmouth is also a good first point of contact. It offers free, confidential and local advice on bills, benefits, debt, housing and employment issues. Call 023 9279 4340, text 07789 550593, use their webchat or email email@example.com.
A benefits calculator can also quickly calculate if you could be receiving additional support. Entitledto is free to use and completely confidential.
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.