‘Stay Alert’. What does is mean?

May 14, 2020 / Comments (0)


Latest update from PCC. “Many local residents have contacted us saying they found the changes to the Government’s advice on Monday rather confusing. Here we will help clarify the new rules and particularly how they relate to Portsmouth. 

In order to provide as much space as possible for all of this activity to take place, we are keeping the Seafront roads that we shut on 1st May closed until further notice to ensure there is the best possible chance for people to practice social distancing, especially as more visitors are likely to come into the city now that the government have eased travel restrictions.

We are also regularly asked about whether food premises are allowed to be open and the guidance is very clear on this…
Food Businesses – the only activities permitted are:
Takeaways (including catering vans and ice cream vans) and customer collections (no tables and chairs allowed, even for someone waiting to pick up food) – entering takeaway premises to collect food is permitted (businesses must have measures in place to enable this to happen safely).
There has also been a lot of confusion over the new ‘Stay Alert’ messaging…

According to the government website, the new ‘Stay Alert’ Message 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 (at least 2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

The Government have stated that ‘People may exercise outside as many times each day as they wish’. For example, this would include angling and tennis. People will still not be able to use areas like playgrounds, outdoor gyms or ticketed outdoor leisure venues, where there is a higher risk of close contact and touching surfaces. You can only exercise with up to one person from outside your household (remember, rule 2 above still applies) – this means you should not play team sports, except with members of your own household.  

Activities which are still not permitted:

  • Use of playgrounds and outdoor gyms (or similar)
  • All team sports (eg cricket, football, rugby and similar)
  • Use of stake parks
  • Swimming in public pools (for example Hilsea Lido)

Activities which are permitted (but please remember the 6 rules above apply at all times):

  • Sitting and enjoying the fresh air, picnicking and sunbathing
  • Meeting one other person from outside your household in the open (particularly remember rule 2 above)
  • Travel to outdoor open space irrespective of distance
  • Day trips in a private vehicle
  • Tennis
  • Golf (on designated courses) – always check for conditions of use online before visiting a course.
  • Pitch and Putt (at a designated facility only)
  • Lawn or crown green bowls
  • All open water sports/recreation (sailing etc., angling and swimming**)
  • Outside sports courts (only) within Multi-Use Games Areas (particularly remember rules 2 and 4 above)
  • Use of beach huts (as long as the rules above can definitely be adhered to)
  • Visiting a garden centre

**Please note that safety assistance organisations like Lifeguards or the RNLI may not be operating. Help may not be available should you get into difficulty or injure yourself.

The following information relates ONLY to the changes to outside activities. Please check the above link for all other information.
Of course, this information is all conditional on people following these key rules and applying them to every situation:

1Even when doing these activities, persons should still be trying to spend as much time at home as possible.   
2At all times, persons should continue to observe social distancing guidelines when outside their homes, including ensuring they are at least 2 metres away from anyone outside their household. 
3Regularly hand washing for at least 20 seconds is still recommended (or using a quality hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available). 
4All sports courts can re-open, but people must only do such activities alone, with members of their household, or with one other person from outside their household, while practising social distancing.  
If someone is showing Coronavirus symptoms, or if they or any of their household are self-isolating, they should stay at home. Check NHS online.  
6All facilities open to the public must ensure that they are ‘Covid secure’ in respect to assessments of risk to health and must ensure they have clear and correct social distancing advice for their customers. 

You may also find it useful to check the council website as this is updated regularly with details of any changes to local services.
Do stay safe and well.
Best wishes,
Cllr Steve Pitt
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure & Economic Development

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