Coronavirus Guidance

On this page you’ll find information related to the coronavirus pandemic and relevant national measures which will affect any planned visit to Southampton. Given the fast-changing nature of the current situation, the information on this page may change at any time. You may also be interested in our Southampton - Still Open For Business blog.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 (caused by coronavirus) is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. If you are unsure of what COVID-19 is or need medical advice please go to the NHS page here. If you think you may have any of the symptoms please call 111.

Current Social Distancing Guidance

The current Government guidelines has instructed everyone to stay at home apart from a few specific exceptions. The exceptions include:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • Exercise, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
  • any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.

When taking part in the above you should always adhere to the 2m social distancing rules. Please go here for more information.

Closure of all Non-Essential Businesses

As of 23 March 2020, the Government instructed all non-essential businesses and premises to close, until at least 7 May, to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. 

There are few exceptions to these closures such as supermarkets and other food shops, health shops, pharmacies, post offices and banks. Food outlets offering a takeaway service can also continue to operate. You can find full details of affected establishments here.


As well as the general instruction to stay at home for all but selected, essential reasons, gatherings of more than two people (unless you're from the same household) are also currently banned. Therefore events scheduled to take place in that period have no choice but to cancel or postpone. Other events taking place from mid-May onwards may also choose to cancel or reschedule.

Our events listings are powered by The List, a third-party events portal, who are working hard to get all events updated as quickly as possible. However, if you were planning to attend a specific event we advise you to contact the event organiser/venue directly for the most up-to-date information.

Getting Here / Getting Around

The Government has instructed people to stay at home and avoid all non-essential travel. As a result, many transport providers across the country are operating reduced services as of 23 March. In terms of operators serving Southampton, please see links below for some specific updates:


South Western Railway

Southern Rail


Great Western Railway

Bus & Coach Travel

National Express 


First Southampton

Xela Bus


Southampton Airport ­

Ferry & Crusie

Red Funnel Ferries

Hythe Ferry

Cruise Travel - the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently advises against all but essential travel abroad, including cruises, until further notice. If your planned cruise is essential travel please contact your cruise line to check if you can still travel.

Online Retail & Takeaway Services

Although all non-essential retail businesses are now closed you can still shop online with many retailers and get it delivered to your door. 

Some restaurants are still operating a delivery service through their own website or via third-party platforms such as Uber Eats or Deliveroo. Some outlets may be running a takeaway collection service as well/instead. We are attempting to keep our business listings up-to-date with this information, however businesses' are understandably changing their operations at very short notice in this unprecedented period, so please check directly with individual businesses for the very latest information.

Many national retailers, cafes and restaurants, and some local businesses, offer gift cards for purchase online, offering a great way of supporting a business that may not currently be trading. Check individual businesses' websites for details.

Head to our 'Still Open For Business' blog to find a full list of businesses still open to the public along with other ways you stay connected to Southampton. 

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