Coronavirus (COVID-19) update from Essex County Council

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An Easter message from Leader of Essex County Council, Cllr David Finch

Dear residents,

Thank you for staying home and saving lives.

The last few weeks have been challenging for everyone. Whether you are a key worker, or staying at home juggling work, childcare and home-schooling, I want to thank every single person who is complying with the current restrictions and social distancing guidelines. You really are helping to protect our NHS and save lives.

We only need look at how much traffic has reduced on our roads to know that the majority of people across Essex understand the importance of the current restrictions, and they are only making trips for essentials like food or medicine, and they are exercising close to home.

Inevitably there have been some who think that these rules do not apply to them. I have a stark message for you if you are in this minority. Coronavirus is a killer. By ignoring the restrictions, you risk your own life and those of others.

I understand that the current curbs on normal life are hard for many. Not being able to see family members and friends is especially challenging, even more so during religious holidays and celebrations and while the sun is shining.

Whilst we want you to enjoy this long weekend, I want to ask residents - please - to continue to follow the government’s guidance.

Please do not meet with friends and family. Please do not travel unnecessarily to beaches, beauty spots or country parks. Not following this guidance, even for a day, could have serious implications and lead to much stricter restrictions being put in place.

As well as Easter, in the coming days and weeks there are also a number of other religious holidays taking place. Today (Thursday 9 April), for instance, is the Jewish holiday of Passover. I would ask all our friends in the Jewish community to follow the social distancing advice and guidance from faith leaders, which means staying at home and not going on outings.

I would like to thank the people of Essex for persevering through this difficult time. I wish you all a peaceful and happy Easter weekend.

Cllr David Finch

Leader, Essex County Council

Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives

Watch Cllr David Finch's message to Essex residents on YouTube.


Keeping active at home

As more and more of us are spending time at home, Active Essex has compiled some ideas and videos on how you can keep active when you’re at home, if you are well enough. Staying active is really important for mental health and wellbeing.

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You can choose from:

  • Gentle Exercise
  • Active Families
  • High Energy
  • Health and Wellbeing

Community Shield update - pharmacies open this weekend

All community pharmacies will be open from 2pm to 5pm on 10 April 2020 (Good Friday) and 13 April 2020 (Easter Monday). Some pharmacies are already planning to open for longer hours.


Don't call, click...

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Want to know if you can change the date of your wedding?

Not sure if you can still apply for a Blue Badge?

We know that the coronavirus situation has caused a lot of uncertainty, but we’re here to help.

The quickest and easiest way to find the answers you need is on our website. It also helps to free up our phone lines for those who don’t have access to the internet or may be more vulnerable.

Save time and check online for updates to our services


Thousands of residents use the e-library

Book lovers accessing Essex Libraries eAudio and eBook service have increased by 22 per cent over the last two weeks, with several thousand more residents using the service.

Recent additions to the service include:

  • the number of e-comics available has increased from 238 to over 1,500, all with unlimited access
  • Ancestry and Find My Past have been made available for customers to use from home
  • The Times Digital Archive and British Library 19th century Newspapers are now available to library members who have just joined the service online

At a time when many parents are trying to keep young children happy in their homes, the online rhyme time service is proving immensely popular.

For more information visit the Essex Libraries website.


Every Family Matters – supporting your child’s mental wellbeing

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With everything that’s currently happening, it’s normal as a parent or carer to feel more overwhelmed than usual, or unsure of how best to support you child. Your child may no longer be at school, out of their normal routine, and missing their friends and this may be impacting their overall emotional wellbeing, which is completely normal.

Encourage your child to ask questions and express how they’re feeling. Do your best to reassure them and let them know that you are there to listen and that they have the space to share.

Remember, you’re not alone – every family matters. If you or your child need help, visit our website.


Help for critical workers to find childcare

Some childcare providers are staying open to support critical worker parents.

If you're a critical worker and need support in finding childcare, you can email us at early.years@essex.gov.uk.


Changes to our services

Our website includes the latest changes to our services and is regularly updated.

Country parks

Our country parks remain closed. 

Why not take part in our Virtual Easter Egg Hunt? It’s suitable for children and adults alike and very easy to join in. Share your creations on social media, simply tag us @visitparks or @cressingtemple and use the hashtags #essexegghunt and #virtualegghunt. 

Free schools meals

You can find out the latest information about free schools meals on our website.

Recycling centres

All Essex recycling centres remain closed.

Here are some ideas about how to reduce your household waste while some services are suspended or closed.

Support for employers and businesses

We are working with partners to do everything we can to support our people and businesses in Essex. You can read about our initial areas of focus and most recent updates on our website.


Delivering essential supplies to those most at risk

Do you need help getting food, medicine and essential supplies while you’re self-isolating?

The Essex Welfare Service is delivering essential supplies to those most at risk. If you’re over 70, pregnant or have underlying health issues, and you don't have help from friends, family or local support, the Essex Welfare Service can help. 

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Visit www.essexwelfareservice.org.uk or contact us on 0300 303 9988. The helpline is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 7pm and Saturday to Sunday from 10am to 2pm.