Advice for residents

Guidance from the Government

Last updated: 2 July 2020

The Government is continually releasing new and updated guidance. Please see the UK government's guidance and support for the latest information, including guidance on staying alert and safe (social distancing).

Everyone can help to control the virus by staying alert. According to the current advice, this means you must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (two metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Guidance on shielding

Last updated: 26 June 2020

The UK Government has set out a roadmap for the clinically extremely vulnerable on the future of the shielding programme.

For now, the guidance remains the same – stay at home as much as possible and only go outside to exercise or to spend time outdoors with a member of your household, or with one other person from another household if you live alone – but the guidance will change on 6 July and again on 1 August. Precautions should still be taken by keeping your distance if you go out (two metres apart where possible and washing your hands regularly).

Shielding FAQs

If you need additional support with basic supplies, priority for supermarket deliveries or help meeting basic care needs, please register online or call 0800 028 8327 before 17 July.

What is changing?

From 6 July:

  • You may, if you wish, meet in a group of up to six people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing
  • You no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household
  • You may also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance

From 1 August the advice to ‘shield’ will be paused. This means:

  • You should remain cautious as you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, so the advice is to stay at home where possible and, if you do go out, follow strict social distancing
  • You can go to work, if you cannot work from home, as long as the business is COVID-safe
  • You can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise but you should maintain strict social distancing
  • Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings if they are eligible and in line with their peers. Where possible children should practise frequent hand washing and social distancing

Read the full guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.

Health advice from the NHS

Last updated: 2 July 2020

See the NHS website for the latest NHS information and advice about coronavirus. This includes information about symptoms, self-isolation, and testing. You can also watch the "Catch It, Bin It, Kill It" video.

Self-isolation guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection

Read the NHS advice about staying at home including how long to stay at home if you have symptoms and what other people should do if they live with you.

Public safety

Last updated: 27 March 2020

The government has given local police new powers to ensure people stay safe during the pandemic. These may be used to make sure people are only outside for essential reasons and properly practicing social distancing.

We are in this together, and everybody has a role to play by following government advice. Police will engage, explain the circumstances and encourage you to do the right thing by complying. Officers will apply their discretion and ask questions about why you are outdoors. You will be instructed to go home if you do not have a good reason for being outdoors.

If considered necessary, they may take enforcement action if you are putting others at risk.

Mass gatherings of people can be reported via the Hampshire Police website.

Avoiding COVID-19 scams

Last updated: 09 June 2020

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.

Fraudsters may also pretend to be from the NHS Test and Trace service to con people into handing over personal details. If the NHS test and trace service contacts you, the service will use text messages, email or phone.

Contact tracers will:

  • call you from 0300 013 5000
  • send you text messages from ‘NHS’
  • ask you to sign into the NHS test and trace contact-tracing website
  • ask for your full name and date of birth to confirm your identity, and postcode to offer support while self-isolating

Contact tracers will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to us (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product of any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts

Please see the NHS test and trace: how it works for the full guidance and latest information.

  • Council Tax scams via text and email are circulating locally including an email which appears to be from GOV UK. It has the subject line Online Application - You are getting a Council Tax Reduction and there is a button within the email to claim your Council Tax Reduction. We urge people not to click on the link in this email 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

Some Southampton residents who been identified as clinically vulnerable but have not yet registered for government support, may get a text message from Southampton City Council under ‘SotonCC’ or 07860064055 where a reply is needed.

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.

Before you respond to any offer, please remember the 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 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.

Home safety

Last updated: 1 May 2020

Whirlpool washing machine recall

At this time, Whirlpool’s engineers and delivery teams are using protective equipment and practising social distancing as they recall washing machines due to safety concerns.

If you have a Whirlpool washing machine in your home, please urgently check its model number.

The latest affected models are listed below. You should be able to find your machine’s model and serial number inside the door or on the back of the appliance.

Whirlpool is currently contacting affected customers (where it has details on file) but if you think you have a faulty machine please check it online or by calling 0800 316 1442.

Even if you’ve previously had your machine checked and approved, you may need to check it again.

If you are affected by the recall, you will be entitled to a replacement machine or a repair to your existing appliance, without charge. In the meantime, you should stop using it until an engineer has checked it. If you must use it, restrict it to a cold wash.

Recalled Whirlpool washing machines at 1 May 2020: