Coronavirus Update: Keeping Waltham Forest safe, join our citizens panel and further library to open

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Leader of the Council Clare Coghill green background

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 

Walthom Forest

Thank you to the vast majority of residents and businesses who behaved responsibly to support our local economy and help stop the spread of the virus over the last week. 

Our officers have been on hand, visiting businesses such as pubs, restaurants and hairdressers to advise how they can open safely, ensuring they can get back on their feet whilst also keeping customers safe. 

Over the weekend, our Enforcement team were required to close a tanning salon and attended an industrial unit on Saturday evening alongside Police officers after 1500 people attended an event, both of which were in breach of the government guidelines. Our enforcement team will continue to monitor activity across the borough and will not hesitate to take further action to stop individuals or groups putting our wider community at risk.

Before heading out to a local business you can help by checking their website or social media to see if they’ve reopened and what measures you'll need to follow to keep yourself and others safe.

It is vital that we all act responsibly to prevent the spread of this virus, keeping Waltham Forest safe together. 

Keep Waltham Forest Safe

Test and Trace

As a resident of Waltham Forest, we want you to help us keep Waltham Forest safe and know how to access the NHS Test and Trace service if you need to. 

If you've recently had any of the symptoms then it's important you order a test immediately.

The symptoms you need to look out for are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

Make sure you protect your loved ones and our wider communities, by following the NHS Test and Trace guidelines. 

You can learn more about Test and Trace by visiting our website.

Use outdoor space responsibly


On Saturday our playgrounds, multi-use games areas and outdoor gyms re-opened and we're so glad to see the majority of residents using these responsibly.

We have introduced regular cleaning, so you may see our teams out and about keeping these shared spaces safe.

However, we are asking that anyone using the shared facilites continues to follow social distancing, avoid busy times, and do not use equipment if you or anyone in your household has coronavirus symptoms, or are clinically vulnerable.  

Read more.

Libraries begin to re-open


From Monday 6 July, Leytonstone Library has begun welcoming visitors again, as we begin the phased re-opening of our libraries. We're pleased to announce that from Monday 13 July, Hale End Library will also reopen. 

There are additional measures in place to ensure for the safety of both library users and staff – please follow the guidance. 

Extra cleaning will be undertaken, but we also urge visitors to take personal responsibility in wiping down shared equipment, and queues may be introduced to manage the number of people in the building. 

Please bear with us as we all get used to the new arrangements in place.

Keep up to date with our library offer.

Help shape the future

Future opportunity

 “How can business survive and prosper in a cleaner and safer post covid-19 world?” 

This is the question we are asking of 16-25 year-olds in our Future Opportunity Prize.

Launched recently by the Mayor of Waltham Forest and featuring a first prize of £1,000, Future Opportunity wants your ideas on how to help the local creative and leisure sectors recover after Covid-19. Hear a message from the Mayor here.

Start thinking about your vision for our borough post-covid, what does it look like as lockdown eases and how could you support your favourite local business to grow?  You have until 31 July to submit your ideas via video.

For more details on how to enter, including the help available to get you started visit our website.

Apply for our citizens panel

Citizens Assembly

As lock down measures move to the next stage, we want to ensure all of our residents receive key information needed to take responsible action in order to protect their health and that of our most vulnerable residents. To achieve this, we are planning to establish a Citizens Panel of residents that is representative of the diversity within our borough, including people from the different ages, ethnic backgrounds and personal circumstances such as shielding that make up our borough.

Being part of the citizens panel is a commitment, which will include 1 or 2 tasks per month for 12 months. These tasks might be short surveys, focus groups workshops or online tasks. Being part of this panel, gives interested residents the chance to keep up to date with our key Covid-19 recovery plans and we'll also supply members with a £100 voucher for the commitment to thank residents for their time.

This is a chance for you to represent your community and make positive change across Waltham Forest.

Express your interest in joining our citizens panel.

Work to start on EMD cinema


After a successful planning application in June, we are very excited to be taking hold of the EMD Cinema site on Hoe Street very soon to start work on revitalising this beautiful building. Working alongside Soho Theatre, and our construction partner Wilmott Dixon, the EMD Cinema will be transformed back to its former glory into a local theatre with a national profile, with an excellent programme of live events, from comedy to music. 

This will be the largest comedy and entertainment venue in outer London attracting visitors and investment to the borough and bringing a much loved cultural venue back into use.

Keep an eye on our channels to watch the progress, and count down to the day when the iconic venue reopens, bringing with it new jobs, and a boost to the local night-time economy. 

Keep up to date with the developments.

Thank you to our NHS


On Sunday 5 July, we illuminated the Assembly Hall blue to mark the 72nd birthday of the NHS.

We are so grateful for the continuous hard work and dedication displayed by our NHS and all our key workers, who have worked throughout lockdown. 

Thank you to our NHS workers who have worked so hard to care for us and our loved ones.

Council Services

Greener pensions Town Hall

We're continuing to deliver vital services and are working hard to reopen services as and when it is safe to do so. 

Learn more about our services and how to access them.

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Information and advice regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing quickly and its important you keep up to date with those changes. The Council will be using email newsletters to keep residents and businesses up to date.

If residents have questions please visit our website, and use live chat to talk to one of our team, it's quicker than phoning.


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