Covid-19 update: National Lockdown Now In Place.


Colchester and the rest of the country moves into National Lockdown

Everyone must Stay Home, Save Lives and Protect the NHS

The Government has announced that due to the number of Coronavirus cases rising rapidly across the country we will now have to follow National Lockdown restrictions immediately (from 5 January 2021).


The key new restrictions that we face in a National Lockdown are: 

You must stay at home.

We all need to stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS

Leaving home

You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary.

You may only leave home for the following reasons;

  • Shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • Go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • Exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day and you should not travel outside your local area
  • Meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • Seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • Attend education or childcare – only for those that are eligible

You must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. This will be put in law. The police can take action against you if you leave home without a ‘reasonable excuse’ and issue you with a fine (Fixed Penalty Notice).



  • Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers
  • All other children will learn remotely until February half term
  • Early Years settings remain open
  • Higher Education provision will remain online until mid-February, for all except future critical worker courses


Stay Local

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

All this advice applies to people who are fit and well.


Advice for Clinically Vulnerable & Additional Guidance

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work, school, college or university, and limit the time you spend outside the home.

More detailed additional advice for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus and households with a possible or confirmed coronavirus infection can be found here. There is also separate guidance for support and childcare bubbles. 

Support for residents

You can find advice and support on accessing food, information on key community contacts, support for Clinically Extremely vulnerable people, and mental health support services in the Support for Communities section of our website. You can also view our Community Response Pack for information on voluntary and support groups across Colchester.

Residents who have a loss in income due to being asked by Test and Trace to self-isolate could be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500. More information including eligibility and how to apply can be found on our Test and Trace Support Payment section of our website.

Support for businesses

We encourage all businesses to visit our Business Support section on our website for advice, and to apply for Business Grant Support. We will let businesses who apply for a grant know if additional support becomes available.

The Government Business Support website contains additional useful information and contains a handy tool which allows businesses to check the support available to them.


Steps we are taking to ensure Colchester remains Covid safe

  • Our Licensing Team continue to make regular checks on businesses that remain open across the borough, including essential businesses like supermarkets.
  • Our Covid Marshals and Neighbourhood Services teams are working in partnership with the Police, Our Colchester, and town centre security teams to ensure our businesses are Covid safe and closed venues are protected.


Impact on Council Services

We will be required to close the following facilities and services immediately as a result of the National Lockdown:

  • All Museums including Colchester Castle
  • The Visitor Information Centre
  • All Sport and Leisure Facilities including all Leisure World sites
  • High Woods Country Park Visitor Centre (the park will remain open)
  • All Outside sport courts
  • All Outdoor gyms
  • All Outdoor tennis courts

Staff will be redeployed from these services to perform alternative duties including supporting other Critical Services. There are no other impacts on Critical Services as a result of moving into a national lockdown and we reassure residents that our recycling and rubbish collections will still take place as usual (except textile recycling, which remains suspended).


Follow key Government advice - Hands. Face. Space

We urge everyone in Colchester to remain vigilant and follow the key advice from The Government. Approximately 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it.

Hands – wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds

Face – wear a face covering in indoor settings 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 from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings)

In all circumstances, you should follow the guidance on meeting others safely.

Make sure you are;

  • Regularly washing your hands
  • Cover your face when in public indoor spaces or where you are in close proximity to others
  • Maintain a social distance of 2 metres where possible
  • Isolate if you are asked to do so
  • Please get tested if you have any of the common symptoms: a high fever, new or continuous dry cough, loss of taste or smell.


Keep up to date

Please continue to check our dedicated webpage at and our social media channels to keep informed of the latest news on the council’s work to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and any changes to our services

For further information on the national lockdown please visit: National lockdown: Stay at Home - GOV.UK (


Stay Home | Save Lives | Protect The NHS