Coronavirus update – Essex is at High local Covid alert level

From Essex County Council:

Dear resident,

Essex has moved to the High local Covid alert level. This does not include the Southend and Thurrock Council areas.

This is because cases are rapidly rising across our county.

We need you to please do two things. Both are critical if we are to reverse the increases in cases in Essex and minimise the impact on businesses, who we are working with to support.

First, please work from home if you can.

Second, please follow the High alert level restrictions. These are mainly about not mixing with other households.

If we all play our part, we can reduce the number of people who die or become seriously ill from Covid-19. By acting now, we hope to exit High alert level restrictions sooner rather than later.

What this means for you

The main difference between the Medium and the High alert level is socialising with other households.

You must follow these rules all the time, even if you are seeing friends or family who live in a Medium alert level area. The restrictions apply to you as an Essex resident.

What’s changed

You can no longer socialise indoors with people from a different household unless they are in your support or childcare bubble.

The Rule of Six (up to six people from different households meeting) applies outdoors, in both private and public spaces.

Work from home if you can. Take extra precautions if you work in other people’s homes.

Aim to only make essential journeys.

Do not visit a care home except in exceptional circumstances, for example to visit someone at the end of their life.

What’s stayed the same

Covid-secure businesses can keepoperating and hospitality venues can stay open until 10pm.

You can still go to school, university and places of worship.

Weddings and funerals can go ahead in the same way as before.

You can still use registered childcare settings, including childminders, after-school clubs and nannies.

Where to find more details

View the government guidance on High alert level restrictions.

We’ve also produce a helpful guide, what the High Covid alert level means for you. We’ll be regularly updating this guide with any local information which will help you understand how the restrictions apply in Essex.

Guidance for businesses

Business must work in a Covid-secure manner. Guidance is available for businesses and venues.


Official or registered tradespeople can continue to go to other people’s homes for work purposes. Follow the guidance for people working in, visiting or delivering to other people’s homes.


If you work in hospitality, use the guidance for your type of workplace to keep your employees and customers safe.

Funding and support

We are working to do everything we can to support our people and businesses in Essex.

Use GOV.UK’s business support finder tool to see what support is available for you and your business.

Help and support for residents

Looking after yourself and others

Confusion, anger, anxiety, despair – these feelings are common reactions to the ongoing pandemic and changing restrictions.

You might be worried about your job, your business, juggling work and home life, loneliness or being unable to see friends and loved ones.

Whether you need support or need help to support someone else, you can get help and support from a range of local organisations.

Support from the Essex Wellbeing Service

Set up in response to the pandemic, the Essex Wellbeing Service is here to help all residents, providing a single point of access to practical, emotional and specialist support.

Whatever you need support with, there is help available. If you or anyone you know needs support, visit the Essex Wellbeing Service or call 0300 303 9988.