Following the Government’s announcement on the 12th March that we are now entering the ‘delay’ phase of coronavirus (Covid-19) response, we want to update you on what the council is doing to help ensure we keep the city moving.

The city has a well-developed emergency planning network in place and the council has been working with its partners through the Local Health Resilience Partnership (LHRP)* and Local Resilience Forum (LRF)* for a number of weeks to prepare and respond to the coronavirus situation. This ensures staff from key public agencies are aware of the latest advice, can make proportionate plans for their own organisations, and can work together in an effective multi-agency system. Public Health England is the lead agency, and we are working to support their efforts in detecting and containing the virus.

We would like to assure you that we are doing everything we can to minimise the impacts of the virus within the council to ensure we are able to continue to provide vital services to businesses, residents and visitors.

Guidance for businesses, schools and individuals has been provided by Central Government and Public Health England and is available via links on our website https://www.southampton.gov.uk/health-social-care/health/coronavirus.aspx. These are the best sources of up to date information available and we would encourage you and your colleagues to refer to this information which is regularly updated. There is a lot of misleading information around, especially online, which is leading to misinformation and subsequently confusion.

The Government has announced measures to help businesses such as business rates relief and statutory sick pay measures. The council will be working with local partners and with the Government to ensure they continue to put in place appropriate support for businesses during this period of extreme economic uncertainty.