Coronavirus update 23 March 2020

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23 March 2020    

Message from Hounslow Council 

Cllr Curran

Understandably there remains a great deal of concern as measures to help control the spread of coronavirus continue to increase, and it’s been an extremely busy few days for the Council.

I’d like to thank those of you who have been following the Government and NHS guidance which is in place to help protect our most vulnerable residents. I also want to reassure you that the Council continues working closely with our local partners, particularly those in the NHS, as well as Public Health England and the Government, and plans are in place to enable us to keep delivering vital services.

However, unfortunately there remains a level of complacency among some people and businesses who are not following the guidance around social distancing. It’s so important that together, as a borough, we all pull together and each play our part to protect the most vulnerable and our NHS.

In this edition of the update we cover our plans for the borough’s community hub, the importance of social distancing in parks, measures to ensure businesses follow the Government’s guidance, an update on schools and other Council services, changes to parking enforcement, tips for staying healthy at home and the latest support available to businesses.

Cllr Curran signoff

Community hub 

The Council is setting up a new Community Support Hub to provide support and advice to our most vulnerable residents in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.  

The Council will be working with voluntary and community groups to ensure that vulnerable residents have the support they need. There will be a dedicated email address and phone number alongside webpages to direct people to support and advice as well as a resource for those that want to provide help and join a local community or voluntary group. 

In addition, the intention is for the hub to provide the co-ordination and distribution of supplies to those extremely vulnerable residents which the government has identified should be ‘shielded’ and self-isolate for at least 12 weeks. The NHS is currently contacting those residents and once we have the relevant guidance from the Government we will be able to provide further information.  

social distancing

Practice social distancing in Hounslow's parks

Hounslow has some of the best parks in London and we want you to enjoy them. We recognise that they are a lifeline for residents needing to get some exercise or fresh air, and great for physical and mental wellbeing. However, we will have to close them if people do not follow the Government’s social distancing advice. If you need to leave your home, you must try to keep two metres from people you don’t live with.


All transport services and travel should now be focused on ensuring key workers can move around as needed. TfL is introducing a suspension of the congestion charge, Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), and the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in order to support key workers. This will be in effect until further notice.  

To further support vital hospital staff getting into work, NHS workers will be given a code that waives the 24-hour access fee for Santander Cycles so that any 30-minute journey is free. Docking stations near hospitals are being priorities to ensure there is a regular supply of bikes for medical staff to use. 

For an update on Tube services, we refer you to the this site for more details.

Business sweeps

Business sweeps

Our enforcement officers have been working hard and taking a common-sense approach to ensure businesses are adhering to Government directions on opening and have taken immediate action if these are not followed.

Over the past two days the enforcement team, supported by Council police officers, has:

  • Conducted sweeps of all business premises to make sure they are enforcing social distancing measures.
  • Distributed a letter from the Council’s Director of Public Health to all open businesses, urging them to follow the Government’s direction to close if they’re in one of these categories - restaurant, cafe, pub, gym, leisure centre, nightclub, theatre, museum, cinema.
  • Advised businesses that they must cease trading or remain open for take away/delivery only.



If you're not a 'key worker' whose role is critical to coronavirus response, please keep your child at home, please don't take them to school.

The Council is providing advice and guidance in relation to supporting schools that are staying open for critical workers. We are working closely with schools to make sure they have the right support and following government guidance for those that are open.

Schools have contacted parents to update them on their situation and the Council is currently collating a full list of those which are open. Information on what a key worker is, and local childcare advice is available here.

Financial support and distress

The effects of Covid-19 are being felt everywhere. The Council is working jointly with the local Job Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau, and the (Department of Work and Pensions) DWP in these unprecedented times to support our residents. If this disruption has had an impact on you financially and you feel some economic support and advice would help you during this uncertain time, visit our webpage for help.

Hounslow House view from Lampton Road

Hounslow House

To help slow the spread of the coronavirus, measures are being introduced by the Council to temporarily close certain buildings. Hounslow House will remain open (the café and library will be closed) from 9am to 5pm. However we ask all residents, businesses, and visitors to not travel unless absolutely necessary or you have a pre-arranged appointment. The Council will not be making any new appointments if you arrive in person, and you will not be able to speak to anyone face-to-face.   

We ask that you submit any queries online, via telephone, or video appointments where we can talk to you about your Council issue including housing, revenues, benefits. You can access most council services online: or by phone 020 8583 2000. Find out more here.

Direct links to services are below:

·         Council Tax

·         Benefits

·         Homelessness

·         Tenancy and Housing repairs

·         Recyling and rubbish

·         Environment

·         Streets

·         Planning and Building

·         Adult Social Care

·         Children and Families

·         Schools, Children, and Families


Parking changes to support key workers

Reduced public transport means that emergency service and care providers are more likely to drive to work. In response, Hounslow Council, along with other London boroughs, has today agreed a common-sense approach to issuing parking and driving fines in order to help critical workers such as NHS staff, carers and the emergency services, travel in the capital.

These new measures include:

  • The Council is providing a temporary dispensation to allow all NHS and emergency services staff providing frontline services to park for free at all off-street car parks and on street parking bays near their place of work for the next 12 weeks. 
  • For companies that provide care services in the borough, we are opening up eligibility of our external party operational permit to provide a more convenient parking. 
  • We are also providing a version of our ‘stop and shop’ scheme to all volunteers who are providing services to vulnerable or self-isolating residents. 

Full details are available online.

All other parking restrictions and controls currently remain in place and enforcement activity will continue.  To support the Council and our NHS and emergency services workers during this critical time, we ask that residents park considerately and at no time in a way that blocks access to properties

Stay at home advice

Please help protect our most vulnerable and the NHS during this time by staying at home and minimising social interaction as much as possible to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. Stay at home advice is available online.

How can you exercise from home? Here are some equipment-free fitness routines that are the perfect way to get started! Just 10-minutes long, these six workouts will help you focus on different areas of your fitness.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. During this time of social distancing and self-isolation, it’s important that you prioritise your wellbeing. To start, take the One You Hounslow “Mind Plan” here


The advice and support to businesses that the Government is offering is constantly changing. Please visit our website for the latest information and guidance.

Council Meetings

Most meetings of the formal bodies of the council will be cancelled for the time being, with only essential meetings continuing to go ahead.  

As soon as we are notified that a meeting will not be taking place, we will update the calendar of council meetings which is available here.

Latest information and advice

The Council has a coronavirus advice webpage which is updated daily with the latest information.

You can also follow us on social media using the links below.

The latest information on coronavirus in general is available on the Government’s website.

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