Southampton moves to Tier 4 ‘Stay at Home’ COVID-19 alert level

Southampton will be moving to Tier 4 from midnight on 26 December 2020 following the announcement by Matt Hancock today.

Tier 4 restrictions and guidance must be followed from one minute past midnight on 26 December 2020, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Councillor Christopher Hammond, Leader of Southampton City Council said: “We’re all feeling deflated after the good news about the vaccine. We need to remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel, however fed-up we’re feeling at the government’s new restrictions.  

This will be the third time Southampton has been put under strict COVID-19 regulations and I don’t underestimate for a second how difficult this will feel for everyone.

Southampton is a city of can-do small business owners. Many of them will be wondering if this is the final hammer blow to their livelihoods and aspirations and I would urge everyone to support their local businesses by shopping online with them wherever possible over the coming weeks.

Our job of protecting the city is not done and until it is, we will stay on the frontline. This year, despite all our difficulties we’ve seen the best of the city, and I’m sure the spirit of Southampton will get us through this.”

Dr Debbie Chase, Director of Public Health at Southampton City Council added, ““The COVID-19 infection rate for Southampton has now risen to 175.8 per 100,000 people. Early evidence suggests that the new variant virus strain appears to pass from person to person more easily and so presents a real risk. The more people that become infected, the more that will potentially become very unwell, and this will put our health and social care services under real pressure. Until the vaccines have been rolled out to a critical mass of people, I can’t stress enough how important it is for people to continue following guidance so that we can protect the most vulnerable, safeguard our local NHS and save lives.”

Anyone who needs help should see the coronavirus information on our website or contact our COVID-19 resident helpline on 023 8083 4800.

Tier 4 Stay at Home coronavirus restrictions, which apply in Southampton from 26 December 2020 include: 

  • Stay at home. You must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a specific purpose, or a 'reasonable excuse' such as work, education and childcare, medical reasons, and shopping for essentials such as food and medicine and in the event of an emergency or to escape risk of harm (such as domestic abuse)
  • Non-essential retail businesses must close – including hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons 
  • Indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close
  • Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, holiday lets and guest houses must close
  • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs must close except for take-aways, click-and-collect and drive-through or delivery.
  • Businesses that can remain open include: essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies and garden centres; petrol stations, vehicle repair and MOT services; banks, building societies and post offices.
  • To help contain the virus, everyone who can work from home should do so.
  • A reintroduction of the guidance to clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) that applied in the recent national lockdown. The CEV group are advised not to attend work, even if they are unable to work from home, not to go to the shops and to stay at home as much as possible.
  • Schools and colleges will remain open in Tier 4 areas, as will early years settings and childminders. 
  • In general, you must not meet with another person socially or undertake any activities with another person. However, you can exercise or meet in a public outdoor place with people you live with, your support bubble, or with one other person. 
  • If you need to travel, you should stay local. This means you should avoid travelling outside of the part of the city where you live, and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall. 
  • The majority of public services will remain open, and you can leave home to visit them, including: NHS and medical services, such as GPs and dentists; Jobcentre Plus sites; courts and probation services.

Updates to council services

The new Tier 4 restrictions will mean that in Southampton the following places and services will close:

  • SeaCity Museum and Southampton City Art Gallery (Tudor House and Gardens will remain closed)
  • Indoor leisure and sports facilities
  • Gateway at One Guildhall Square
  • Community rooms in housing complexes
  • Libraries will be closed until 4 January 2021 and will then re-open with limited services

We will be doing everything we can to ensure essential services are maintained over the coming weeks and months. We will continue to prioritise, as we have always done, the safety of the most vulnerable people in our community.

  • The Household Waste and Recycling Centre at Millbrook will remain open with the COVID safety measures already in place. The ‘Re-use’ shop will close as it is non-essential retail
  • New guidance applies to weddings, civil partnerships and funerals
  • Outdoor public spaces and play areas will remain open
  • Public MOT bookings will still be available at City Depot

Please visit our coronavirus update web pages for all of the latest service information.