STAY HOME, protect Portsmouth
This weekend we’re asking you to keep sticking to the ‘stay home’ order, which will be in place until 29th March at the earliest.
While changes are coming on Monday (see below), until then the stay-at-home rule and tight restrictions on who you can meet remain in place.
Covid-19 spreads quickly between people, so the more people you come into contact with, the higher the risk of catching or spreading the virus. With infections falling and the number of local people receiving their first dose of the vaccine on the rise, we’re starting to feel more hopeful. But we need to stay cautious. We have a long way to go, and we’ll only hit the stages set out in the roadmap if we stick to the rules.
When you do leave home, don’t forget the vital hygiene actions you can take to help keep infection rates falling, to help us get back to the things we love.
- Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds – it kills the virus.
- Wear a face covering – it helps protect us all.
- Keep a 2m distance – it helps stop the virus spreading.
What’s changing – and what isn’t
Monday marks the first phase of the government’s roadmap to take us out of tighter restrictions and back to a more normal way of life.
Here’s what will change:
- More students will return to face-to-face learning in schools, college and higher education.
- Childcare and supervised activities will be able to re-start to help parents and carers work.
- You will be able to meet one other person outside your household for recreation, as well as exercise – at a social distance of course.
- People living in care homes will be allowed one regular visitor, where it’s safe to do so.
- Up to 30 people will be able to attend funerals, and up to six people will be able to attend wakes and weddings.
Here’s what will not change:
- The stay-at-home order will remain in place – only leave home when you need to.
- Don’t gather in social groups, and don’t meet indoors with people not in your household, childcare bubble or support bubble.
- Many shops and businesses will remain closed.
- You should continue to work from home wherever possible.
- Testing and self-isolating remain essential – ask for a test if you’ve got symptoms, and get asymptomatic testing if you can’t work from home.
Schools and teachers are getting ready to welcome everyone back. Children will able to play, learn and thrive alongside their friends again.
Being in school is the best way for children and young people to learn and get the support and guidance from teaching staff that they need to grow. We’ve put together some tips to help them settle back into school and stay safe.
Community testing protects city
Our community testing programme at the Guildhall is now available to all Portsmouth workers who can’t work from home.
Testing will help identify the one in three people who carry the coronavirus but who show no symptoms, and can therefore spread it unknowingly.
If your employer isn’t running workplace rapid turnaround testing yet, you can book set appointments through our Guildhall programme – available seven days a week, 8am-8pm. Appointments can now be booked at short notice.
Update on getting your Covid jab
More than 50,000 Portsmouth residents have now had the Covid-19 vaccine.
If you’re in one of the following groups you can visit nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119 to book your jab, even if you haven’t received a letter from the NHS:
- you are aged 60 or over
- you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- you are an eligible frontline health or social care worker
- you have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
- you are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus
If you’re not in one of these groups then you should wait to be contacted by the NHS.
The vaccines are safe and effective, and could save your life.
Once you’ve had your jab it remains important to follow the advice about social distancing, face coverings and hand washing. Public Health England has written an article explaining why you need to do this.
The vaccine is free on the NHS and they’ll never ask for your bank account or card details.
Back to usual time for bus passes
Free bus travel for older people will return to the normal start time of 9.30am on Monday, as young people return to school and college.
The 9.30am start time for older people’s bus passes was temporarily removed in January this year to help older people travel to early morning vaccination appointments and travel at quieter times for essential journeys such as food shopping. The return to school will start to create peak travel times again where space will be more limited on buses.
The disabled person’s bus pass continues to be free all day.
Finding bereavement support
Losing a loved one can be even harder during the pandemic – due to restrictions on hospital visiting, funerals and seeing friends and family.
A bereavement directory has been added to the HIVE Portsmouth website showing organisations who can provide advice, information and support to help you deal with the practical side of losing someone and cope with your feelings of grief.
Have your say on telecare service
The pandemic has highlighted the need for vulnerable people to receive the support they need to live independently in their own home.
We’re looking at our telecare service to make sure it works for those who need it, and we’d like to hear your views. The survey closes on Tuesday and takes about five minutes.
Tell us your views on e-scooters
Greener transport is going to be a big focus as we recover from the coronavirus crisis.
Ahead of the launch of a regulated trial of rental e-scooters in Portsmouth, we would like to understand your views on them. This will help Solent Transport contribute to plans for this new way of travelling as part of the pandemic recovery. Privately-owned e-scooters will remain illegal except on private land. Survey closes 15 March.
How can we improve our city once the pandemic is over?
One proposal is a new swimming, sports, and community hub at Bransbury Park. You can help shape plans for this by completing our survey before 21 March. Your feedback will help us to develop more detailed plans for the hub, which will be shared with the community later this year.