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Living with COVID

On Monday 21 February 2022, the government confirmed that all remaining domestic COVID-19 restrictions will be removed as part of its plan for living with COVID-19.

How to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19

As we learn to live safely with coronavirus (COVID-19), there are actions we can all take to help reduce the risk of catching COVID-19 and passing it on to others. These actions will also help to reduce the spread of other respiratory infections, such as flu, which can spread easily and may cause serious illness in some people.

Face covering

Wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, especially where you come into contact with people you do not usually meet, when rates of transmission are high. For further information visit: Face coverings when to wear one and how to make your own.


Let fresh air in if you meet indoors. Meeting outdoors is safer. You can let in fresh air by uncovering vents and opening doors and windows. Opening your windows for just 10 minutes, or a small amount of time continuously where you can, makes a significant difference. This is particularly important before, during and after meeting indoors with people you do not live with.

Hand hygiene

Regular handwashing or use of hand sanitiser is an effective way to reduce your risk of catching illnesses, including COVID-19. If you need to sneeze or cough, use a tissue to ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.’

Where possible, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If you do need to touch your face, for example, to put on or take off your face covering, wash or sanitise your hands before and after.

Socialise safely

Consider the risks when meeting people you do not usually live with. You might choose to limit close contact or use lateral flow tests before and after being in close contact with others.


The vaccines are safe and effective. Getting fully vaccinated is the best way of protecting you and others against COVID-19.

If you have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s not too late. Find out more about how to get vaccinated in Portsmouth.


When symptom-free, use rapid lateral flow tests to increase the chances of detecting COVID-19 when you are infectious but are not displaying symptoms. Taking a rapid lateral flow test is also encouraged if you expect to spend time in a high-risk environment during your day, particularly if you are visiting people who are at higher risk of severe illness if they were infected with COVID-19. Find out more about testing here.

Try to stay at home if you’re unwell

If you feel unwell, stay at home until you feel better and reduce the risk that you will pass on an illness to your friends, colleagues, and others in your community. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, to help reduce the spread, you are advised to stay home for five days and avoid contact with anyone, including those who live in the same household. The first five days is when you are most infectious.

Domestic travel:

  • When travelling, choose to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet, like shops, cinemas, and on public transport. For further information, visit Face coverings when to wear one and how to make your own.
  • Travel safely and plan your journeys – sanitise hands, wear a face covering in enclosed or  poorly ventilated spaces, and keep your distance where possible.

International travel:

If you’re travelling from and to England during coronavirus (COVID-19), there are things you need to do before you travel and after you arrive. See our page on travelling abroad.

Council services

Most council services are operating normally. Any exceptions are listed below:

  • Portsmouth Carers Centre – this service is currently supporting people remotely and on an appointment only basis.
  • Civic Offices – the Civic Offices is open for payments from Monday to Friday, cashiers (9am–1pm) or use our self-serve payment machines (1pm–4pm). Payments can also be made online; you can call our payments line on 0800 876 6576. Services which used to accept drop-in visits now need you to make an appointment – unless the situation is urgent, such as an emergency homelessness application or other crisis. See more details here
  • Planning applications – are now being processed. View information on temporary changes.
  • Unemployment Support – Support for individuals who are seeking work is being offered remotely and in person. Email for more information.

Staying safe in council buildings

We ask everyone using council buildings, including libraries and community centres, to help continue to protect themselves and other people by being considerate and following these everyday precautions:

  • choose to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people
  • keep going with hand hygiene – wash your hands often and carry hand sanitiser, leave space between yourself and others

This is because COVID-19 still poses risk. It is still possible to catch and pass on the virus even if you’ve been fully vaccinated.

We follow the government’s latest guidance to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our customers, residents, and our staff. If staff become ill, this affects services that Portsmouth people rely on.

We closely review government guidance as it becomes available and balance this with the needs of our services.

Risk assessments are in place for all our buildings, including spaces used by the public, and for how we deliver our services. These are regularly reviewed to take account of changing guidance to help prevent the virus spreading.

Coronavirus figures for Portsmouth

In line with the government’s Living with Covid-19 plan, coronavirus figures for Portsmouth will no longer be published and be removed from the website on Friday 8 April 2022.

Latest figures on tests, positive cases, health, vaccinations and deaths, including breakdowns for Portsmouth, continue to be available and updated regularly at UK Summary | Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK ( The ONS Infection Survey Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK – Office for National Statistics provides weekly estimates of Covid-19 prevalence.