HAMPSHIRE'S ambulance service is asking residents to only call 999 in an emergency.

South Central Ambulance Service, which also covers Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, said that their 999 services are "very, very busy".

They added that 111 and Patient Transport Services are also busy, signposting people to go online for advice.

The service is asking people to only call 999 "in a life-threatening or serious emergency".

It comes as the London Ambulance Service received as many emergency calls on Boxing Day as it did at the height of the first wave of the coronavirus.

Nearly 8,000 calls were received, a 40 per cent increase on a typical busy day, the BBC reports.

Additionally, the South East Coast Ambulance Service, which covers Kent, Surrey and Sussex, are also asking the public to consider other options before dialling 999.

It comes as 59 people in Basingstoke and Deane tested positive for coronavirus yesterday (December 27).

499 people have received positive tests in the last seven days, an increase of 110.5 per cent on the previous week.

One person passed away in the borough yesterday within 28 days of receiving a positive test, bringing the weekly total to seven.

When should I call 999?

Usually, the NHS says that you should call 999 in a "medical emergency"; that is when someone is "seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk".

These can include: loss of consciousness, an acute confused state, fits that are not stopping, chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding that cannot be stopped, severe allergic reactions and severe burns or scalds.

"Call 999 immediately if you or someone else is having a heart attack or stroke," the NHS website says. "Every second counts with these conditions.

"Also call 999 if you think someone has had a major trauma, such as after a serious road traffic accident, a stabbing, a shooting, a fall from height, or a serious head injury."

But if you need urgent medical help or you are not sure what to do, NHS 111 can help.

"They will ask questions about your symptoms so you get the help you need," the website says.

"If you need to go to A&E, NHS 111 will book an arrival time. This might mean you spend less time in A&E. This also helps with social distancing."

"You can get help from 111.nhs.uk or call 111. It's available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."