As we enter the second national lockdown, our focus is on supporting Essex’s businesses and the most vulnerable members of our communities through the next month, and on planning for Essex to come out of lockdown as strongly as possible.
In order to come out of lockdown at the earliest opportunity, I need to remind everyone that we all need to play our part and follow the guidance. If we do, we believe that the infection rate will have fallen sufficiently for us to exit lockdown.
Because Essex entered Tier 2 (High) restrictions earlier, we are confident that we will be well placed to recommend to Government that we leave lockdown at the lowest level of restrictions (Tier 1: Medium).
We will be announcing further support for families, vulnerable people and businesses in the coming days.
Cllr David Finch,
Leader, Essex County Council
Read more of Cllr Finch’s letter to residents on our website.
Changes to our services
Essex Libraries is closed for book borrowing from today (Thursday 5 November). Some libraries are continuing to offer public computer use by appointment only.
The mobile library service is temporarily paused. A new click-and-collect service will be put in place. The home library service will continue and the e-library service is still fully accessible.
Essex Registration Service and Blue Badge Assessments that take place from libraries will continue to operate.
Visit Essex Libraries for more information.
Essex Record Office
The Essex Record Office (ERO) is closed from today (Thursday 5 November). No weddings will take place but online services are still available. For more information, visit the ERO website.
All Essex Outdoor Centres and The Lock Climbing Wall are closed from today (Thursday 5 November). Find out more on the Essex Outdoors website.
Ceremonies of marriage or civil partnership are unable to take place from today (Thursday 5 November). Registration services continue as usual on the online booking system.
For more information, go to our Births, ceremonies and deaths section.
Recycling centres remain open with current restrictions. Go to the Love Essex website to find out about the current restrictions.
All Essex County Parks remain open, including car parks, children’s play equipment and toilets. Some cafés are also continuing to offer a takeaway service.
All visitors are required to follow government guidelines. More details can be found on the Explore Essex website.
Cressing Temple Barns
Weddings cannot go ahead at Cressing Temple Barns. Its outdoor spaces, including the grounds and Tudor Walled Garden, remain open.
Visit Explore Essex for more information.
Update on shielding for vulnerable people
If you are over 60 or clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. You should be especially careful to follow the rules, minimise your contact with others and wash your hands more frequently than usual. Find more guidance for clinically vulnerable people on GOV.UK.
If you are over 70 or clinically extremely vulnerable, you should stay at home as much as possible and not go to your place of work, even if you can’t work from home.
This week, the government is sending letters to people identified as clinically extremely vulnerable. These will provide further guidance and support. Read the guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people on GOV.UK.
Support for residents
New funding to support vulnerable people
We are investing £3.7 million of Covid-related funding from the government and £200,000 of our own funds to support the most vulnerable people in our communities through winter and beyond.
We plan to spend the funding on:
- helping families and individuals in financial crisis or hardship
- providing food for children and their families during school holidays, supporting foodbanks and targeting further food support for those who need it
- supporting people identified as clinically extremely vulnerable due to Covid-19
- providing safe long-term homes for rough sleepers
- running mental health, domestic violence, alcohol and substance misuse services
- grassroots clubs and activities for children and young people
- helping vital support agencies and voluntary organisations.
Read more about our extra support for the vulnerable this winter 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
There is support available to help businesses during the pandemic.
The government recently announced that they are extending some business support schemes. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), also known as the furlough scheme, which will now run to the end of March 2021.
You can visit our business support pages to find:
- support for self-employed people
- government business support packages
- local advice and support for your business
- advice and support for hospitality businesses
- advice and support for care providers
- advice for security businesses.
The latest data in Essex
See the latest Covid-19 data for Essex on our website, including cases by age band, cases by district and hospital beds occupied by Covid-19 patients.