Reduced Services

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

In line with social distancing advice and to protect residents and staff the Council has taken the decision to close the Council offices to the public until further notice.

Whilst the offices are closed to visitors, you are still able to access services and information from this website 24/7.

Information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to access Council Services during this period can be found on our Coronavirus information page

You are invited to view and contribute to the The Mayor's Covid Record of Reflection

Essex move to Covid Tier 2 High: Message from Leader of the Council

COVID-19 Secure

In response to the growing rise in coronavirus cases we have seen several new restrictions placed upon us. This remains a very challenging time for all of us but we must continue to work together to reduce the spread of the virus.

On this page you will find a summary of recent changes along with links to various websites which we hope will be useful for our residents and local businesses.


How can I stay safe?

  • HANDS - Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds.
  • FACE - Cover your face in enclosed spaces, especially where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • SPACE - Stay 2 metres apart where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place.

Look out for symptoms. If you have any of the reported symptoms, (high temperature, new continuous cough or loss of taste or smell) please seek advice by calling 119. For information on testing, see useful links at the bottom of this page.


When are changes happening?

From Wednesday 23 September

  • Office workers who are able to work from home should do so
  • Customers in private hire vehicles and taxis must wear face coverings.

From Thursday 24 September

  • Customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings.
  • Guidance previously stating that face coverings, and visors should be worn in close contact services will now become law.
  • Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm.
  • Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details once the app is rolled out nationally.
  • Customers must eat and drink at a table in any premises selling food and drink to consume on site.
  • Support groups must be limited to a maximum of 15 people.
  • Indoor organised sport for over 18s will no longer be exempt from the rule of six. There is an exemption for indoor organised team sport for disable people.

From Monday 28 September

  • A wider range of leisure and entertainment venues, services provided in community centres, and close contact services will be subject to the COVID-19 Secure requirements in law and fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.
  • Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.
  • Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.

From Monday 28 September

  • a maximum of 15 people may attend weddings, while 30 may attend funerals.


  • Business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events will not be reopened from 1 October.

New information and updated guidance is coming out frequently and whilst we do our best to keep this information current, we advise you check the site regularly for all the latest information.


Useful links

NHS COVID-19 Testing

Meeting others safely

Create an NHS QR Code

Government FAQs on Coronavirus

Stay at home guidance

Working safely, guides of each workplace

HSE COVID risk assessment templates

Face coverings