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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

New national restrictions are in place. Make sure you know what to do to Protect Portsmouth.

Information about the national restrictions that come into effect on 5 November

New measures are being introduced on Thursday 5 November to control the spread of coronavirus. Full details of these measures are available on the government website.

Stay at home

You must not leave your home except for the following reasons:

  • For childcare and education
  • For work, if your place of work remains open and you can’t work from home
  • To exercise or meet in a public, outdoors space with people you live with, your support bubble (or as part of a childcare bubble), or with one other person.
  • For any medical emergencies, appointments or other medical reasons, or to escape risk of injury or harm such as domestic abuse
  • Shopping for essentials, such as food or medicine
  • To visit members of your support bubble or provide care for vulnerable people

View full details of when you can leave home on the government website.

Staying safe outside the home

Minimise the time you spend outside your home. When you’re around people outside of your home or support bubble, make sure you’re at least 2 metres apart from them.


  • Hands – Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
  • Face – Wear a face covering in indoor settings
  • Space – Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible

Meeting with family and friends

You must not meet socially indoors with family and friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble.

You can exercise or visit outdoor public places with one person from another household. You can’t meet in a private garden.

The government website has more information about where you can meet people outdoors.

Businesses and venues

The government has ordered some businesses and venues to close, including:

  • All non-essential retail
  • Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities
  • Entertainment venues
  • Personal care facilities

Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. These businesses should follow COVID-secure guidelines to keep customers safe.

Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery and click-and-collect.

Full details of all businesses that can remain open are available on the government website.

You can find up-to-date information for business support in Portsmouth on our website here.

You can also contact our dedicated business support line on 023 9284 1641, Monday to Friday.

Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funerals

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance. Anyone working is not included. Social distancing should be maintained between people who don’t live together.

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies won’t be permitted except in exceptional circumstances.

Places of worship will be closed except for:

  • Funerals
  • To broadcast acts of worship
  • Individual prayer
  • Formal childcare or where part of a school
  • Essential voluntary and public services
  • Other exempt activities such as support groups

Full details are available on the government website.

Going to work

To help contain the virus, everyone who can work effectively from home must do so. Where people can’t do so, they should continue to attend their workplace.

Full details are available on the government website.

Going to school, college and university

Childcare and children's activities

Parents will still be able to access some registered childcare and other childcare activities to enable parents to work, or for the purposes of respite care.

Early years settings can remain open. Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under.

Some youth services may be able to continue, such as 1-1 youth work and support groups, but most youth clubs and groups will need to close.

Full details are available on the government website.

Protecting people more at risk from coronavirus

If you are over 60 or clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. You:

  • should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise your contact with others
  • should continue to wash your hands carefully and more frequently than usual and maintain thorough cleaning of your home and workplace

Clinically vulnerable people are those who are:

  • aged 70 or over (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 70 with an underlying health condition
  • pregnant

There is a further group of people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus.  Over this period, the government are advising these people to work from home. If you can’t work from home, you are advised not to go to work and may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA). You are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, but are encouraged to go outside for exercise.

Full details are available on the government website.

Visiting relatives in care homes

Guidance on care home visits is due to be published on Thursday.


You should avoid travelling in or out of your local area, and you should look to reduce the number of journeys you make. However you can and should still travel for a number of reasons, including:

  • travelling to work where this can’t be done from home
  • travelling to education and for caring responsibilities
  • hospital GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
  • visiting venues that are open, including essential retail
  • exercise, if you need to make a short journey to do so

If you need to travel we encourage you to walk or cycle where possible, and to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel.

Overnight stays and holidays away from your home will not be allowed. This includes holidays abroad and in the UK. It also means you can’t stay in a second home, if you own one, or stay with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with.

There are specific exceptions, for example if you need to stay away from home (including in a second home) for work purposes, but this means people can’t travel overseas or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons.

You must not travel if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms, are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms, or have been told to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

Full details are available on the government website.

Financial support

Workers in the UK can retain their job, even if their employer cannot afford to pay them, and be paid at least 80% of their salary up to £2,500 a month.

All employers are eligible and because more businesses will need to close, they will now be asked to pay just National Insurance and Pensions contributions for their staff during the month of November.

Wherever you live, you may be able to get financial help through the:

Full details are available on the government website. There is also information on our website around financial support.