The number of new cases of coronavirus in Portsmouth in the last seven days was 321.

That’s a drop of more than a third compared to the previous seven days.

But there are still more Covid-19 patients in QA Hospital than at the peak of the first wave back in April last year.

Over 400,000 people across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have received a vaccine and cases are going down each week. We’re expecting an update from the Prime Minister next week about what might be coming next. It’s been a tough few months, but it’s important to remember this won’t last forever.

But for now, we’re asking you to keep doing what you’ve been doing:

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Cover your face when you need to, unless you’re exempt.
  • Keep a 2m social distance from those not in your household.
  • Ask for a test if you have symptoms or take part in asymptomatic testing if you’re a critical worker who can’t work from home.

Thank you Portsmouth – together we’re slowing the spread, protecting the NHS and saving lives.

Government guidance

Local information

Asymptomatic testing is now available for critical workers.

Critical workers who can’t work from home and regularly meet others as part of their work are now able to access twice-weekly Covid-19 tests at the Guildhall.

This fast, free testing will help identify the one in three people who carry the virus but who show no symptoms. People getting tests will get their results within the hour, allowing them to self-isolate quickly – taking the virus out of circulation.

It’s quick and easy to take part, and will help protect workers as they carry out their essential jobs, as well as making their families, colleagues and the wider community safer too. We’re asking everyone who is eligible to take part to help slow the spread of coronavirus in the city.

Find out more 

Remember, testing is also available for anyone showing symptoms of coronavirus, no matter how mild. You can book online or by calling 119

The Covid-19 vaccine programme is going well. 

Anyone 70 and over who has not yet received their first dose of the vaccine is being urged to contact the NHS directly to make an appointment.

You can do this by:

If a suitable and convenient slot isn’t available you can also call your GP practice.

Vaccinating unpaid carers

If you look after someone older or clinically vulnerable who couldn’t cope without your help you could be eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine as one of the next priority groups. We’re waiting to find out more details from government about how they’re defining people in this group. But if you receive carers allowance or you’re already registered with your GP as an unpaid carer then you will receive an invite to book a vaccination appointment. You don’t need to do anything now.

If you don’t receive this allowance or your GP doesn’t know that you have this role, then you can contact the Portsmouth carers centre to let them know via email or by calling 023 9285 1864 if you can’t get online. They will be able to advise you on next steps once more information has been made available. We’ll also share further details on this once we have them.

What to do after your vaccine

Once you have received your vaccination it’s still really important that you continue to follow the current guidance to stay at home as much as possible, practise social distancing, wear a face covering and regularly wash your hands. This is because not everyone is protected yet. You can find out more on what to expect after your Covid vaccination on the government’s website.

More on vaccination

New vulnerable people identified

This week the government has sent letters to a new group of people who have been identified as being at high risk from serious illness if they catch COVID-19.

The government is advising these clinically extremely vulnerable people to shield – and to take up the offer of a vaccine, which will now be offered to them.

People have been identified by a number of factors such as age, sex registered at birth, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI) and specific health conditions and treatments, to estimate the risk they have of catching coronavirus and becoming seriously unwell.

If you have been identified as high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) you are strongly advised to shield and stay at home as much as possible until 31 March, except to exercise or to attend health appointments (including of course for vaccination).

If you can, you should order your shopping online or ask friends or family to collect shopping for you. Your pharmacy will deliver medicine to you free of charge if you tell them you are clinically extremely vulnerable.

You can register for support online. If you are unable to do this, or need food or medicine urgently, please call the HIVE Portsmouth community helpline on 023 9261 6709 (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday).

Find out more

We’re hosting an online event where you can ask our panel of experts any questions you have about Covid-19.

If you have any questions about the vaccination programme, the rate of infection, the ongoing impact of the pandemic or anything else, then register for the event, submit your question and join us for the evening.

Hosted by Mark Waldron, editor of The News, the panel consists of:

  • Helen Atkinson, director of public health at the council
  • Cllr Matthew Winnington, the council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
  • Angela Anderson, clinical director for the Covid-19 vaccination programme at NHS Solent Trust
  • Dr Abu Mohammed, GP
  • Supt Clare Jenkins, Hampshire Constabulary

Register now

Your views on better air quality

We’re looking for people in Portsmouth and the wider area to tell us their views on how to improve air quality in the city. 

Emerging evidence from around the world has reported links between air pollution and an increased likelihood of catching coronavirus. Though much of the evidence is still being developed, those who have had a serious infection can develop scarring on the lungs, making breathing polluted air even more dangerous.

We want to understand what motivates you to choose more sustainable, active travel, and what might stop you.

Focus group discussions will take place from 1 March to 19 March and will last an hour. All participants will be compensated with a £20 voucher that can be used at a range of retailers.

Apply here