Advice for residents

Guidance from the Government

Last updated: 17 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: 03 August 2020

The advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people to shield has been paused.

If you or someone you know has been shielding because you are extremely clinically vulnerable it’s important to remain cautious, stay at home where possible and if you do go out, follow strict social distancing. Read the full guidance on shielding to find out more about what has changed.

You could be advised to shield again if the situation changes and there is an increase in the transmission of COVID-19 in the community.

Don’t forget that our dedicated COVID-19 resident helpline is open Monday-Friday (9am-5pm) for practical support and information so please do give us a call on 023 8083 4800, or complete our online form.

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: 23 July 2020

New face covering rules from Friday 24 July 2020

From Friday 24 July 2020, new government rules mean you must wear a face covering, not just when you travel on public transport, but also when you visit shops and supermarkets.

As it will be the law to wear face coverings in these settings, you could face a fine or be refused entry if you don’t comply or qualify for an exemption.

To assist in protecting public health you must also wear a face covering when you visit some council buildings, including the Civic Centre and Gateway, where social distancing may be difficult and where you could encounter people you do not normally meet. You don’t need to wear a face covering when you visit the Household Waste Recycling Centre in Millbrook. Additionally, the new rules don’t currently apply to libraries and visitor attractions (but this is subject to review).

Scientific evidence suggests that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of COVID-19, helping to protect others.

Some face-covering etiquette to remember:

  • You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings
  • If you prefer, you may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering
  • Any cloth face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably

There are some circumstances, for health, age or equality reasons, where you won’t be expected to wear face coverings, and it isn’t compulsory for shop or supermarket staff to wear them.

Read more about face coverings, including how to make your own and details about who is exempt from the new rules, on the UK Government website.

Advice for visiting the city

Last updated: 11 August 2020

Southampton may look a little different but it’s still the same at heart. We have worked hard to make sure it’s a safe place and ready for you to enjoy.

Please visit the Visit Southampton website for more information on all of the below:

  • Eating out
  • Shopping
  • Things to do
  • Safety initiatives
  • Getting there

Frequently asked questions

Which businesses are open?

Please check on individual businesses’ webpages for more information on their opening date and times. You can also find out more information on the Westquay website and Marlands Shopping Centre website.

Are the city centre and district markets open?

The City Centre market and Bitterne market have both reopened.

Where can I find information about public transport?

Please visit our My Journey website to find information about safely using public transport in Southampton.

Where can I find information about parking?

Please visit our updates to council services page for up-to-date information about parking in Southampton.

Which public toilets are open?

Public toilets are open at:

  • Mayflower Park
  • Weston Shore
  • Westquay

Where can I find information about cycle lanes?

For more information about the current Southampton Cycle Network, which continues to be developed as part of planned infrastructure visit the My Journey website.

Further temporary pop-up cycle lane schemes are currently available. More information can be found on the Connecting Southampton website.

European Regional Development Fund

The project is receiving up to £225k of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit GOV.UK.

ERDF logo

HM Government logo

Avoiding COVID-19 scams

Last updated: 14 September 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.

Please be aware a scam is currently circulating in regards to refunding your council tax payments due to Covid-19. The letter directs you to what appears to be a UK government website: ( where you are prompted to enter a 6-digit reference number contained in the letter. When entered, you are asked to provide personal information.

Please do not follow the link or give any information.

If you have given details, such as your bank or council tax details please contact your bank/building society and call our customer service team on 023 8083 3009.

If you would like to report any instances of the above information being used in similar fraud attempts please email them to and the details will be forwarded to the relevant teams.

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 or Working out your Council Tax 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:


Getting tested for coronavirus in Southampton

Last updated: 9 September 2020

New walk-through test sites are available which make getting tested easier.

For more information visit our local testing site page.