Go safe as more businesses re-open

Residents are reminded to go safe, go local and follow any guidance as non-essential businesses re-open from Monday 12 April 2021.

Portsmouth City Council hopes residents will keep doing their bit to protect Portsmouth as retail, personal care, outdoor door areas at hospitality venues and indoor sports and leisure open their doors.

The council has been working closely with shopping centres and retailers to make sure the high street is as safe as it can be and will be on hand in Commercial Road at peak times to monitor the situation.

Residents are reminded to:

  • Queue responsibly
  • Not block doorways
  • Wear a face covering where required such as in Cascades and inside shops (unless exempt)
  • Follow social distancing guidance
  • Be kind to others
  • Download and use the NHS COVID-19 app to check in to venues

Shoppers returning to Commercial Road will see that the Debenhams site has been given a facelift, with portraits of local keyworkers given centre stage in the ground floor windows. Photographer Olufemi David Olaiya has created the portraits as part of the Pompey Heroes project, celebrating local keyworkers who have worked through the pandemic. Olufemi crowdfunded the money to get the project underway, and the recent installation is supported by Portsmouth City Council. The photos will be appearing in the few empty shops we have across Portsmouth shopping areas over the next few months.

Mountbatten, Pyramids, Charter and the Portsmouth Tennis and Gymnastics centres will also be re-opening on Monday. Under step two, venues can open for the gym, personal training, swimming and junior activities and lessons. Booking in advance, staggered session times and capacity limits, together with enhanced cleaning, ventilation and social distancing measures, remain in place to help keep everyone safe. Residents are reminded that there have been changes at the Pyramids – the pool is now closed, and the gym has moved to the Glass House temporarily while refurbishments are underway. Contact individual centres for more information.

Mark Pembleton, Portsmouth City Council’s economic growth manager, said: “We are really looking forward to seeing many customers returning safely to local businesses that are allowed to re-open from Monday. Please support your local business and get the Portsmouth £ circulating in the city again in a COVID secure way. Portsmouth is blessed with a wide range of shopping areas and many small independent smaller businesses that urgently need your trade and support.”

Residents are encouraged to plan their journey, walk or cycle whenever possible and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. If anyone in a household is experiencing any symptoms of coronavirus – no matter how mild – they should stay home and request a test.

Helen Atkinson, Director of Public Health at Portsmouth City Council, said: “Infection rates in Portsmouth are continuing to decrease, and the number of people getting vaccinated is rising, but it remains important to remember that when we meet with more people, there are more opportunities for the virus to spread.

“We must take this next step safely. People in Portsmouth have stuck to the rules so far, and their actions have made a difference – and I’m urging everyone to continue playing their part by following the hands, face, space and fresh air guidance, getting tested regularly, attending vaccination appointments when it’s your turn and using the NHS COVID-19 app to check in to venues.”

Portsmouth businesses who need advice on safe re-opening, latest Government guidance and grant schemes can visit www.portsmouth.gov.uk/businesssupport email business@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or call the council’s business helpline on 023 9284 1641.

Any concerns about a business operating unsafely can be reported at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/coronavirussecurityreporting

Find out more at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/gosafegolocal