Coronavirus Update: Police appeal, walk-in coronavirus testing and back to school for our kids

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Leader of the Council Clare Coghill green background

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 

Walthom Forest

As we approach the August Bank Holiday and the September school return around the corner, we know how challenging it's been to adapt to a new way of life throughout the pandemic. 

When socialising this weekend, please be mindful that we should only be socialising indoors with one other household. When welcoming friends or family to your house, or visiting others in theirs, please make sure you stick to this guideline, which will help us stop the spread of the coronavirus.

This week, we're pleased to see a reduction in positive coronavirus cases across Waltham Forest from last week. If you experience any coronavirus symptoms, please self-isolate and order a test immediately. Below you'll find information about our new walk-in testing site, which is now available along with our drive through site. To get yourself tested, call 119 or book online.

By getting tested when you experience symptoms, you'll be helping us to tackle the coronavirus, keeping the residents of Waltham Forest safe. 

test and trace

Book your test at one of our mobile test sites

test and trace

We're pleased to announce the introduction of our Covid-19 walk-in test site, located at Stanley Road car park from Saturday 29 August. 

Residents who are experiencing coronavirus symptoms can book an appointment to get tested at this site from Saturday afternoon.

This is in addition to the existing drive in test centre in Leyton and postal testing. You can book a test by calling 119 or visit the government website to book.

Whilst waiting for your test results, you must self-isolate with your household. Please walk or cycle to the walk in test centre and wear a face covering during your journey.

You can watch a helpful video explaining the testing process, over on YouTube.

By getting tested when you feel unwell, you're helping to protect your loved ones and the wider Waltham Forest community.

Back to School


Our schools are preparing for the full time return of all pupils in September, attendance will be mandatory for children age 5 to16.

We are aware that parents and carers will have some concerns but our schools have been working extremely hard to ensure that protective measures will be in place to support pupils and staff including regular handwashing and limiting contact between groups of children as far as possible.

We know that by being back in the classroom it will be beneficial to our children and young people’s education and wellbeing.

This week the government announced from 1 September new guidance will apply on the use of face coverings by staff and pupils for schools and education settings that teach Years 7 and above. 

Schools will communicate any arrangements to be in place direct to pupils and parents.  

Read more on returning to school safely. 

Fines for illegal raves

illegal rave

We know it has been a difficult summer for young people, with festivals, gigs and clubs shut due to Covid-19.

However – unlicensed music events (illegal parties, like the one pictured at the Arches) are putting our community’s health at risk and increasing the possibility of infection.

Because everyone played their part, lockdown has eased but we must continue to socially distance in order to keep infection rates down, prevent illness and a potential local lockdown.

Illegal parties are also creating a nuisance for residents living in the vicinity, due to anti-social behaviour and criminal activity.

Due to this, as well as risks posed to health, promoters of unlicensed musicals events may be prosecuted and fined for up to £10,000.

Metropolitan officer DS James Hall said: “If you’re concerned about an event being planned on social media, or what looks like an organised gathering being set up, please contact us as soon as possible.”

Report information to Metropolitan Police by calling 101 or reporting anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Council Services

Recycling bins

Our teams are 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.

Council supporting police investigation


The Metropolitan Police have sadly confirmed that a murder of a young man in Waltham Forest is being investigated, after the body of Yassar Mustakim Moussa,  was found on Monday 24 August at St James Park. Our thoughts are with Yassar's friends and family during this time. 

The police are currently appealing for information, so if you saw anything out of the ordinary in the St James Park area between Saturday 22 and Monday 24 August, even if it seems minor, the police want to hear from you. If you would prefer to give information anonymously you can call CrimeStoppers free of charge on 0800 555 111.

You can read Cllr Ahsan Khan's, Cabinet Member of Community Safety statement on our website.

More than 1,500 patients discharged from Whipps Cross

Whipps cross

Since the start of the outbreak Waltham Forest Council has been working with Whipps Cross Hospital to discharge patients as soon as clinically safe to do so to help free up beds in the NHS.

During that time the hospital discharge process changed temporarily allowing patients to be discharged sooner.

Staff in Waltham Forest were redeployed to work with Whipps Cross Hospital and provided support to our vulnerable residents - the Council also reached out to the community to recruit a team of paid homecare workers to ensure support was available, the recruitment drive saw more than 500 applications received. 

Thank you to the Council and Whipps Cross discharge teams for the work that has been done. Learn more about how Whipps Cross Hospital are keeping everyone safe, by watching this video.

Walk, cycle or scoot your way to school this September


Walking and cycling to school is energising and empowering, and we want it to become your natural choice for you and your children when travelling to school.

Together with TfL, we've gathered useful information which can help you or your child make the change from travelling with by car to sustainable options. 

This video talks to children (including a few from Waltham Forest!) about the importance of sustainable travel to them

Living Streets: resources to get you walking to school

Transport for London: has some great resources about transitioning from Year 6 to Year 7

THINK: road safety tips with extensive resources

If you're thinking of starting to cycle for the new term, but aren't sure where to start, head over to our Get moving page to find out more.

Transport for London have made some temporary changes to some bus service to help children’s journey into school safer. Please remember that children over 11 are expected to wear face masks on public transport, unless they are exempt. More information on changes to school bus provision and routes are available online. 


Enjoying yourself safely this weekend


We know many of you might have been planning to be at festivals this weekend, with the August Bank Holiday usually bringing sunshine, music and good times with friends. Even though it might not be the bank holiday you were expecting, there are still ways to enjoy ourselves safely this weekend. 

William Morris Gallery is re-open, and welcome you to book a slot to go and visit them. They also have some great arts and crafts activities to try from home. Or if you're looking to get outside in nature this weekend, Walthamstow Wetlands is open and has recently reopened their car park and toilets to the public. 

Please make sure, when visiting any public spaces you follow social distancing and wear a mask when in enclosed spaces. 

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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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