Frequently asked questions

Will my bins still be collected?

All our council departments are looking at the effects of Coronavirus on their services. The latest updates, information and guidance can be found on our Coronavirus pages.

Please also check out our Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest updates.

How do I avoid COVID-19 scams?

Unfortunately, during these difficult times there are many COVID-19 scams circulating, targeting the most vulnerable in our communities. Be aware these scams will try to con you out of money. They may be received by post, email, telephone, text or face to face.

We urge people not to click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages, texts and calls that ask for personal or financial details. Please be aware of anyone selling or advertising coronavirus kits and cures. Do not respond to these. It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you. Take your time to discuss what is being asked of you with friends or family.

The police, or your bank, will never ask you to withdraw money or transfer it to a different account. They will never ask you to reveal your full banking password or PIN.

Important notice

The Government has only sent one text message to the public regarding new rules about staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Any others claiming to be from UK Government are false.

Criminals are able to use spoofing technology to send texts and emails impersonating organisations that you know and trust. We would remind anyone who receives an unexpected text or email asking for personal or financial details not click on the links or attachments.

Occasionally Southampton City Council will communicate with residents and tenants direct by electronic media such as text messaging. For example, our Customer Payment and Debt Team have provided tenants they are currently working with, direct phone numbers to contact if they needed any help with rent or benefits. These messages are legitimate and were sent out to make sure people know who they can turn to for help. Please note this is for advice only and we will never ask you for personal or financial details. If you are unsure, please check by calling the COVID-19 helpline: 023 8083 4800.

Before you respond to any offer, please remember Take Five protection advice

  • Stop - Don’t be pressurised into sending off money immediately to someone you don’t even know.
  • Think - How likely is it that I’ve specially been chosen? Millions of people have probably received the same offer.
  • Think again - Always read the offer carefully. Speak to family or friends or seek advice.

How to report scams

Reporting to Action Fraud can be done online at or by calling 0300 123 2040

Latest SCAM advice

For the latest advice on COVID-19 scams and fraud protection, please visit Citizens Advice, Trading Standards or the Action Fraud websites.

Can I still report a housing repair?

We are only dealing with emergency repairs at the moment.

Are there still going to be parking/traffic wardens?

Yes, the council is currently prioritising the enforcement of yellow lines, zig zags, bus stops, taxi ranks, loading bays and disabled bays. We would advise all drivers to give particular attention to these restrictions as they are important for keeping the highway clear for emergency services, supply chain deliveries, public transport and other vital users, as well as maintaining road safety.

Is it free to cross the Itchen Bridge?

At present, the toll on the Itchen Bridge is lifted so vehicles can pass through for free. This is for an initial period of three weeks, following this we will review.

Do I still need to pay Council Tax if I am in self-isolation and unable to work?

Anyone who is isolating or has confirmed COVID-19 virus, and due to this is unable to pay their council tax, will need to contact us to let us know. Please email including your Council Tax account number, explaining your situation, and the team will reply.

Why are there so many cruise ships docked?

Cruise ships are returning to their home ports, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, so that passengers can disembark to return to their homes.

Those ships will not be setting sail until further notice, so the ship will be used to ensure crew on board are accommodated. The ship requires power to run safely for the remaining crew on board. As this is an evolving situation, you can contact the Associated British Ports team for the latest information.

Are the ships in ports causing air pollution?

Associated British Ports have informed us that ships may remain in port for some time and crew may be accommodated on board during this period. Vessels that are alongside will be running minimal power generation systems to operate essential services for crew welfare.

Data has also shown that air quality in Southampton has improved in the past week and is not anticipated to change.

If you have concerns that your health could be affected by air quality you can monitor air quality forecasts or consider using our Air Alert service.

Are the mighty Southampton FC still playing?

You can find the latest information from Southampton FC about Coronavirus on the Southampton FC website.

Are taxi and private hire cars still working?

Yes, following the advice of NHS England and Public Health England, Southampton City Council is providing the following guidance to taxi and private hire vehicle drivers in the city, to help prevent potential transmission of Coronavirus should it become more prevalent in the country.

Is there any way to access library resources from home?

Keep entertained with free library content without going to the library. Explore our digital library and discover a wide range of resources to find something interesting to read, listen to or learn. They are free to use and all you’ll need is your Borrower number and PIN.

When can I use my bus pass?

We have removed time restrictions on bus passes. They can be used before 9am on all bus services in the city until further notice.

Should I offer to help my neighbour?

Now more than ever, we all need to look out for each other.

We are mobilising and redeploying our staff and working with the voluntary sector to help the most vulnerable. We will update our website at as more detail is available. This will be updated with new details as they become available.

We need your help to get through this. Make sure you check that neighbours are doing ok, especially if you think they may be vulnerable.

Please remain safe and stay two meters away from them so that you don’t risk sharing coronavirus.

If you know a neighbour doesn’t have access to the internet then make sure you keep them in the loop on any changes that may affect them.

There is so much information about coronavirus, how do I know what to believe?

Focus on trusted sources, like GOV.UK, NHS and the council. Be careful and considered, you play an important role in not sharing incorrect information. This BBC blog explains a bit more about that.