Essex To Enter Tier 2: High Alert From 2 December

Dear Resident

The government has announced that the majority of the country, including Essex, is to be placed under new Tier 2 (High) restrictions when the current national restrictions lift on Wednesday 2 December.

The following key changes apply under the updated Tier 2 restrictions:

  • social mixing outside of individual households will not be allowed indoors and the rule of six will still apply outdoors
  • pubs and bars and restaurants can open but only serve alcohol with substantial meals
  • businesses including shops can open, in a Covid-secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs.

It’s clear the decision to place Essex into High Covid alert level prior to national restrictions had a positive impact. In the weeks following entry to Tier 2 there was a significant flattening of the upward curve and regionally, Essex’s case rate reduced, from being in the top three council areas to the bottom two. We have seen a subsequent increase in the past two weeks, but Essex case rates have now stabilised. Hospital occupancy has also stabilised. 

We recognise that there is still work to be done. We understand that going back into Tier 2 will be hard for many, but we must all work together, follow the restrictions in order to save further lives and continue to protect our NHS.

Our aim is to bring the rate of transmission and Covid hospital occupancy down so that Essex can be placed in the lowest tier of restrictions as quickly as possible. With the help of everyone who lives and works here we can achieve this.

Now more than ever, we need people to follow the rules of hands, face, space, work from home if possible, and always socially distance.

Cllr John Spence

Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care

Support for residents

£6.2m protective blanket of support for the most vulnerable

This winter a £6.2m protective blanket of support for the most vulnerable will provide warmth, food, emergency grants and other help to residents hit by the pandemic.

It includes:

  • Christmas food and gift hampers for care leavers
  • free school meals through the holidays for all eligible children
  • emergency grants for food, heating, energy and water bills
  • essential household goods for people struggling to pay bills
  • winter warmth packs for vulnerable people leaving hospital.

Emergency grants are available from Essex Essential Living Fund.

Other support for residents is available on our website.

Essex Wellbeing Service

The Essex Wellbeing Service offers free support with practical tasks, mental health, feelings of loneliness, debt, housing, employment, caring responsibilities and more.

Visit the Essex Wellbeing Service website or call 0300 303 9988.

Support for businesses

Funding confirmed for businesses affected by Covid restrictions

We know that businesses, particularly the hospitality sector, will continue to be impacted by the restrictions.

This week, Essex County Council and district, borough and city council colleagues, have launched grant funding to support businesses and enable them to adapt their premises. Businesses can apply through their local district, borough or city council website.

For other support, visit our business support pages.

The latest data in Essex

See the latest Covid data for Essex on our website, including cases by age band, cases by district and hospital beds occupied by Covid patients.

Information On The Uttlesford Food Bank

Providing food and essentials to families and individuals in crisis across Uttlesford. Our volunteers offer a caring, non-judgemental service and our clients are at the heart of everything we do.

If you are in need please call us on 07531 436335 for help and advice. To find out how you can help by donating food, money or volunteering your time please visit and for up-to-date info please follow us on Facebook: UttlesfordFoodbank.

Beware HMRC Scams During Lockdown

HMRC have issued a fraud alert after being made aware of increasing numbers of people receiving text messages impersonating HMRC and stating that they have a COVID-19 tax rebate pending. They are being directed to click on a link in order to ascertain the level of their rebate.

Students are also regularly targeted with fraudulent messaging regarding tax rebates and there are concerns that this trend will continue or increase with the new lockdown restrictions.

During the previous lockdown, we saw an enormous increase in email and text scams relating to COVID-19, where residents were encouraged to click links in unexpected and unsolicited emails.

If you receive an email/text message offering a tax rebate that you are not expecting, please do not click any links. You can find information on identifying genuine HMRC communications, and report any suspicious messages at: organisations/hm-revenue-customs/ contact/reporting-fraudulent-emails