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.

Essex Police Fraud Update 16th October 2020

Crimestoppers launch COVID hotline

The Crimestoppers COVID Fraud Hotline (0800 587 5030) has been set up by HM Government in partnership with Crimestoppers to enable individuals to report fraud within the public sector during COVID.

The hotline allows those with information to anonymously report their concerns in the knowledge that this information will be dealt with.

Giving Crimestoppers information in relation to fraud means we can help protect the public purse from individuals and companies seeking to undermine the stimulus schemes brought in by Her Majesty’s Government to assist people during COVID. Contact anonymously and free of charge on 0800 587 5030 or use the form at if you have any information or suspicions about any potential crime involving the public sector.

If your information is in relation to the furlough scheme, please visit the HMRC Fraud website or if your information is in relation to benefit fraud, including universal credit, please visit report fraud within the NHS, please use the NHS Counter Fraud Authority online form.

Amazon-themed phishing campaigns peak ahead of Prime Day

Police in the North East are warning of a number of phishing emails following the Amazon Prime Day earlier in the week.

The sophisticated campaigns attempt to leverage both Amazon features and consumer behaviours to lure victims to fraudulent webpages that harvest financial information, credentials and other sensitive data.

One new campaign targets “returns” and “order cancellations” related to Prime Day orders using a fraudulent site,, that impersonates a legitimate Amazon site.

Parcel Delivery Service (PDS) hoax email

A number of residents have recently received a hoax email (right) that warns them about a parcel delivery scam in the lead up to Christmas.

The majority of the information provided in the email is incorrect or out of date. The number in question has since been repurposed by another company (although will still set you back £3.60 per minute).

However, residents should still remain alert if they receive a card stating a parcel they do not remember ordering could not be delivered, and should be wary of taking delivery of parcels they have not ordered.

If you receive this hoax email, please do not pass it on, simply delete the message. For more information, read the Action Fraud article here:

COVID-19 scams

With new Tier 2 Covid restrictions in place in parts of Essex, residents are reminded to remain vigilant for the Covid-19 scams that have previously been circulating.

If you would like copies of previous EFAS alerts relating to Covid-19 scams, please email:

IMPORTANT – Essex Coronavirus Update

In a move to slow the current rates of infection across our county, from Saturday, Essex will be placed into the high level of restrictions (tier 2 on the new COVID system).

What does this mean?

  • No household mixing indoors – this includes at home or in hospitality venues
  • Different households can meet outdoors in public spaces but must stick to the ‘Rule of six’
  • 10pm curfews will remain in place for all pubs and restaurants
  • Remember hands, face and space
  • Reduce travel where you can

If we act now, we can stop the spread and protect our loved ones as we head into the winter months.

Get detailed information on the new guidelines

► Read about the request to move to the high COVID alert level and the data that informed the decision

► You can also read 20 questions about moving to the high COVID alert level

Uttlesford Community Response Hub

The Uttlesford Community Response Hub continues to help people in the community who need it, particularly those who are finding themselves having to return to self-isolation.

The number 03333 408 218 is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.

Alternatively, email:


Downloading the NHS COVID-19 App is the fastest way to see if you’re at risk from the virus. 

Based on an Apple/Google privacy framework, the app has a number of tools designed to help protect those we love, like contact tracing, checking into venues through an in-built QR code scanner, risk alerts by postcode, a symptom checker and test booking.

The more people use the app, the more we can keep each other safe and stop infection rates rising. 

Find out more

There are three simple actions we must all do to keep on protecting each other:

  • HANDS – keep washing your hands regularly
  • FACE – wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in enclosed spaces
  • SPACE – stay at least 2 metres apart, or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions

If you are feeling unwell, get a test and do not leave home for at least 10 days.

Get latest NHS advice