Latest information about COVID-19

Updated: 18.55 27 March 2020

New stay at home measures introduced

The Government has announced new measures that everyone is required to follow:

Everyone must now stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading between households.

You should only leave home for these very limited purposes:

  • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • one form of exercise a day - for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say no.

You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home.

You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine - and you should do this as little as you can. And use food delivery services where you can.

To ensure compliance with the instruction to stay at home, the Government has immediately:

  • closed all shops selling non-essential goods,​ including clothing and electronic stores and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship
  • stopped all gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with
  • stopped all social events​, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals.

Parks remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed. Play areas are now closed.

In summary:

Stay at home

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Read the full guidance


Social distancing measures for businesses and venues

These measures follow the social distancing measures for businesses and venues, including restaurants, pubs, cinemas, theatres and gyms, announced on Friday 20 March.

The Government has also issued advice for those who are classed as extremely vulnerable because of an underlying health condition (further details below).


Information about local services and protecting yourself

On this page you will find the latest information about Council services in Plymouth and links to the latest advice on coronavirus (COVID-19), including:


Vulnerable people

We are working closely with health and social care providers to make sure we can continue to provide care and support for our vulnerable residents. If you have any concerns or questions about your care during the coronavirus outbreak then please speak with your care provider or social worker in the first instance or call us on 01752 668000.

The Government has issued guidance for people (including children) who are clinically extremely vulnerable. These are people who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) because of an underlying health condition. They include:

  • Solid organ transplant recipients
  • People with specific cancers
  • People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD
  • People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections
  • People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
  • Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired

These people are being strongly advised to rigorously follow shielding measures in order to keep themselves safe. Shielding is a measure to protect people by minimising all interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others.

Many of these people will already have great support networks, be that friends, families or neighbours. Sadly, though, some won't and this is where the Council will step in. We are working with partners, including the voluntary and community sector, to develop a comprehensive Local Support Network to provide a range of practical and emotional support to those who are most vulnerable. We are aiming to launch this later this week and further details will be made available shortly.

Adult day centres have now closed. Instead of centre-based activities, providers will be developing plans to help people in their homes through a wide range of means.


Council Tax discount

If you are of working age and on Council Tax Support you will get £150 discount off your Council Tax bill for 2020/21.

Those already on Council Tax Support will automatically get the discount and receive a revised bill in April.

New Council Tax Support customers will also get the discount over the coming months, whilst funds are still available.

For full details see our Council Tax discount news story.



We have already been inundated with goodwill, with hundreds of people getting in touch to offer us their skills. We have already set up the Good Neighbours Scheme, where the Council has joined forces with community groups and charities across the city to provide a central place for people to put their hat in the ring to help. We'll be updating our page regularly as more and more groups get in touch with us. If you would like to be involved, you can register here.

Meanwhile, Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet member for Housing and Cooperative Development, has written an open letter to the residents of Plymouth to thank them for their kindness and community spirit during these difficult times.


Schools and childcare

Schools are now closed, except for vulnerable children and children of 'key' workers, including those who work in the NHS. 

The government has released this guidance and FAQ list. A clarified list of key workers can be found here.

We are in regular contact with schools and can provide guidance on managing health and safety in schools, illness prevention and other issues.

The Government has also provided advice for schools, as well as the following:

Schools have pulled out all the stops to provide childcare for critical workers and ensure the most vulnerable children continue to get the support they need. See our news story for further details.


Bins and street services

Refuse collections are currently running as usual. Residents should continue to put out their green and brown bins on their normal collection days.

Chelson Meadow and Weston Mill recycling centres are now closed.

Garden waste and bulky waste collections have been suspended.

Full update here.


Leisure facilities and parks

The Plymouth Life Centre, Brickfields Sports Centre, Plympton Swimming Pool and Manadon Sports and Community Hub are now closed, as is the Mount Batten Centre.

All play areas in the city have also been closed following the latest Government guidance.

Our parks remain open for exercise but please do not gather in groups. When exercising please stay three steps away from people you do not live with.


Cemeteries and crematoria

Weston Mill Cemetery and Crematorium continues to run but the office is now closed for general public enquiries and access to the Book of Remembrance Room is limited to one person at a time.

We have sadly had to limit the number of mourners allowed to attend funeral and cremation services to a maximum of 10 people. Further details here.

If you have an enquiry please email or call 01752 306104 or 01752 304837.


Employers and businesses

We want to support Plymouth businesses and employers during this difficult period. Our Invest in Plymouth website provides information and advice for businesses.

The Government has also published guidance for employers and businesses. This has been updated to include guidance on business support grant funding (including the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund).



A number of major events that were due to take place in Plymouth in May have been cancelled in light of guidance around mass gatherings. These include The Box preview and launch events, as well as the Mayflower Ocean Festival, Plymouth History Festival, VE Day 75, Britain’s Ocean City Half Marathon, Lord Mayor’s Day and Flavour Fest. Further details can be found here.

All of Plymouth’s Mayflower 400 events in March, April and May have also been cancelled or postponed. See our news story for further information.



All libraries are closed until further notice and all library events and activities have been cancelled or postponed.

You can still renew items and access a wide range of library services from home. See our libraries page.



We've temporarily removed time restrictions on national bus passes so that older people can take advantage of the early opening arrangements many shops are offering during the coronavirus outbreak. More details can be found here.

Plymouth Citybus are running at Saturday service levels until Saturday 28 March. A Sunday service will run on Sunday 29 March. From Monday 30 March timetables will be replaced by two special emergency timetables - one for weekdays and one for weekends.

Stagecoach services are running on school holiday timetables.

The Tamar Bridge is open and the Torpoint Ferry is running. All tolls on both (including TamarTag account fees) have been temporarily suspended for an initial period of three weeks (from midnight on Tuesday 24 March). This will be reviewed as the situation develops. See the Tamar Crossings website for full details.

Cremyll Ferry services and Mount Batten Ferry services have been suspended until further notice.

GWR are running a reduced timetable.



We are suspending parking charges in Council car parks as part of our efforts to support the emergency services, the NHS, care workers and key workers who are keeping our city’s residents safe.

The focus will be on making sure those providing essential services are safe, which is why we will continue to enforce yellow lines, footway parking, disabled parking bays, business bays and doctors/emergency bays.

Residential permit restrictions will remain as they were set up, to help local people park near their homes, particularly in areas close to the city centre and to large employers.

We are asking that people continue to observe restrictions as it will help keep entrances and roads clear for emergency services and carers who need to visit the vulnerable.

Our free car parks at Jennycliff, Mount Batten and Devil’s Point are being closed to the public from Monday 30 March. 

These are all popular visitor sites and in line with government guidance we are asking you not to travel by car unless it is essential, even to go for a walk – please stay home and save lives.

As these car parks are predominantly used for leisure purposes, the closures will not impact on key workers. 



The Tourist Information Centre and Mayflower Museum are closed until further notice.

Plymouth City Market is also closed but some food traders will continue to operate from perimeter shops, where they can manage the recommended social distancing guidelines between customers.    

If you have any queries about visiting Plymouth you can contact us online, email or call 01752 306330.

You can also contact us via our Visit Plymouth social media channels.


1st Stop Shop

1st Stop Shop services are currently only available online and by phone, except for those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

Please visit the relevant web pages or call us on 01752 668000.


Ruth Harrell, Plymouth's Director of Public Health, outlines the current advice for residents


Latest advice if someone in your household shows symptoms

  • if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (The ending isolation section below has more information)
  • if you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then then you must stay at home for 7days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. 
  • for anyone else in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period.
  • it is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
  • if you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
  • if you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible
  • if you have coronavirus symptoms:

do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital

you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home

testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home

  • plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household
  • ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home
  • wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
  • if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999

See the full guidance on staying at home


Help protect yourself

The advice continues to be wash your hands often.

Cleaning your hands frequently throughout the day by washing with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser will help protect you and the people you live with. This step is one of the most effective ways of reducing the risk of infection to you and to other people.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze.

If you have a carer they should take care to use disposable tissues to wipe away any mucus or phlegm after you have sneezed or coughed.

Dispose of tissues into a disposable rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser.

Bags containing used tissues should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.

Other household waste can be disposed of as normal. Please remember to wash your hands after putting bins out for collection and bringing them back in.


Useful links

NHS website

Public Health England website

Public health guidance for various sectors

Latest advice on the Government website


Every Mind Matters – guidance on maintaining mental wellbeing and reducing anxiety

Stay in, work out – advice and tips on keeping or getting active in and around your home

Community and residential care settings

Advice for community and residential care settings

Employers and businesses

Guidance for employers and businesses

Staff in the transport sector

Guidance for staff in the transport sector


Coronavirus - what you need to know

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas

Coronavirus and claiming benefits