There were 247 new cases of coronavirus in Portsmouth in the last seven days.
These cases were either lab reported or confirmed by a lateral flow device. This is over 170 fewer cases than we saw last week.
We’d like to thank everyone who has played a part to bring down the number of infections – your actions have made a difference.
As we head into the first weekend of Tier 2 restrictions, it’s important to remember that we are still seeing a high number of new infections, which is one of the reasons we’re in this tier. Local hospitals are still busy looking after people who are very unwell, and this is likely to continue for some time yet.
While more venues – including some pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and barbers, cinemas and shops – are open, we’re asking you all to stay safe while using them. Our officers will be out and about in the city working with businesses to make sure they are following the latest safety rules. You have a part to play, too.
- Many infections happen when households mix indoors – remember, socialising with people not in your household in any indoor venue (public or private) is not permitted under Tier 2.
- If you use public outdoor spaces, do so safely – keep your distance, stick to six when meeting people outside your household and take any rubbish you make home with you.
- If you’re planning Christmas shopping, it’s going to be busy this weekend – try to find a less busy time, stick to 2m social distance and wear a face covering. Even better, support local businesses by shopping online.
- Walk or cycle where you can. If you need to use public transport, plan ahead. If you have to drive, please park considerately.
We still have a long winter ahead of us and while we’re glad that a vaccine has been approved as safe and effective, the NHS is not at the stage to be rolling it out yet. It remains as important as ever to keep following the rules, observing social distancing, wearing a face covering when you need to and washing your hands with warm soapy water as often as you can.
High risk groups – new advice for Tier 2
Find out the new advice for clinically vulnerable people in Portsmouth from 2 December.
Coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill, but for some people the risk is higher.
If you are at high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) the specific advice for you has changed from Wednesday 2 December. You should have received a letter from the NHS letting you know the new guidance nationally and in your tier.
You may be at moderate risk (clinically vulnerable) if you are over 60 or have certain conditions. You should be especially careful to follow the guidance for your tier.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you are eligible to receive a four-month supply of Vitamin D supplements from the Government. Everyone is advised to take Vitamin D in winter for health and this is especially important for clinically extremely vulnerable people who may have been indoors much more than usual this year. Apply for Vitamin D.
If you need support to take extra precautions you can register on gov.uk using your NHS number. If you can’t register online or urgently need support to get food or medicine, and do not have family and friends to help, you can call the HIVE Portsmouth community helpline on 023 9261 6709 (9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday). There is also a list of local groups that may be able to help on the HIVE Portsmouth directory
Money worries? Help is at hand
We know that the pandemic has affected many people’s income and finances.
If you’re having a tough time financially, you can find useful information and advice at portsmouth.gov.uk/onthemoney
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 to anyone who lives or works in Portsmouth. Call 023 9279 4340, text 07789 550593, use their webchat or email email@example.com
A benefits calculator can also help you quickly calculate if you could be receiving additional support. Entitledto is free to use and completely confidential.
Staying safe this festive season
As we are preparing for a different kind of Christmas this year, we want to help spread some Portsmouth festive cheer.
We will be sharing ideas of how you can safely celebrate in the local area and from home through our virtual advent calendar. Stay tuned for activity ideas, ways to support your community and tips for coping with a different festive season.
So far, we’ve seen safe shopping tips, fundraising for Peter Ashley Activity Centres and an inclusive online Christmas musical – keep visiting each day or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see what’s behind the door each day!
Leaving and returning to the city for Christmas
The next few weeks are set to be busy in the city, as hundreds of students and young people begin returning home for the Christmas period.
The government has designated a window from 3 to 9 December for students to travel. The University of Portsmouth has been testing students for COVID-19 from September and is currently mass testing hundreds of students per day so they can travel home safely. Since Monday, fewer than 0.3% of students tested at the university have received a positive coronavirus result.
The city will also welcome students from other universities as they return home. We urge households to remain alert to the threat of coronavirus.
Hundreds of personnel from the Royal Navy will also travel home.
The council continues to work closely with partners including the University, Ministry of Defence, Hampshire Constabulary and other partners about plans for Christmas and as people return to the city again in the New Year. Consideration is being given to mass testing for returning students and messaging to those returning from Tier 3 areas