Your coronavirus update: Moving into Tier 2 from next Wednesday, choosing local this Christmas and what is a 'Christmas bubble'?

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Leader of the Council Clare Coghill green background

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 

Walthom Forest

Today the government announced that Waltham Forest along with the rest of London and other areas of the UK, will go into tier 2 from Wednesday 2 December. 

It means we will be able to socialise in groups of no more than six outdoors, while non-essential shops will reopen along with pubs and bars that sell food. Gyms and leisure facilities will also reopen, and indoor sport classes and activities can also happen if you're able to safely keep away from others. I am really pleased that due to our hard work staying safe during this second phase of lockdown, we're able to return to some normality next week. 

With Christmas less than a month away, we'll be continuing to support our local economy through our award winning Choose Local. Support Everyone campaign. I'd like to thank all of our residents, local businesses and council officers who have collaboratively supported our local economy throughout the pandemic, and made the Choose Local campaign such a huge success. I urge all of you to continue to shop local this Christmas, wherever you can, as I speak and hear from businesses from all over the borough who are in great need of your support. 

If you'd like to read more about how we're supporting our residents during this time, you can read our 12 commitments on our website.

Stay safe Waltham Forest.

Test and Trace

Food bank feature: Eat or Heat

food banks

This week we’re featuring Waltham Forest food bank, Eat or Heat, one of the Council’s five primary food bank partners who we’re working with to ensure they are stocked and have all of the resources they need to support residents over the winter.

Referrals at Eat or Heat have gone up lately, with the food bank taking on roughly 40 new referrals every week.

If your circumstances allow and you wish to support them, please visit their website to see how you can help.

You can also have a listen to a conversation we had with Gary from Eat or Heat earlier in the year about their tireless work to support vulnerable people.

Watch Gary's video

Choose Local. Support Everyone.

choose local

Want to choose local but not sure where to start?

Check our WF Connected online directory, which has close to 450 local businesses listed, from high street shops to traders and a whole range of others.

If you’re a local business, don’t forget to add your details and sign up to our Local Business Recovery Summit on 2 December – a chance for discussion on the impact of Covid-19 and to tell the Council about the support you need during and after the pandemic.

We are also running a survey for businesses to determine how we allocate our business recovery package to support the survival and restart of local businesses.

Take the business survey

23,000 masks and counting

Stay Safe Champions

So far, we've provided a whopping 23,000 free face masks out to our residents and local businesses, making sure Waltham Forest is proactively protecting themselves against coronavirus. 

Wearing a face mask is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others, and we encourage every resident to do so if they can. 

If you are in need of a face mask, then you can order one by calling 020 8496 3000, picking one up at one of our five open libraries, or by ordering online. 

Order your mask

Enforcement shut down illegal gathering on Hoe Street


On Sunday 22 November, enforcement officers - working in partnership with the Metropolitan Police - broke up a gathering of approximately 20 individuals gathered inside the Mint Club, 406 Hoe Street, behind a locked and shuttered front entrance.

The gathering was found to be in breach of health protection regulations.

Police officers took the details of those in attendance and issued documentation that confirmed their intention to issue each individual present with a fixed penalty notice of £200.

We are committed to keeping residents healthy and safe. 

Safe and healthy lives

Making sure Waltham Forest stays safe

Stay Safe Champions

We have had over 250 residents sign up to receive our online Stay Safe broadcast, helping us to share key coronavirus information to residents. 

It is so important for residents to know how to protect themselves and others correctly, so we'd like to thank every person who has signed up to help us share this information so far. If you're interested in receiving the broadcast, please do sign up on the link below. 

Our Stay Safe Champions will be out over the next few weeks in our key shopping areas such as Leyton High Road and Walthamstow Town Square. 

Look out for them in their pink hi-vis vests, and make sure you give them a wave. 

Become a champion  

What is a Christmas bubble?

christmas market

With the news that we'll be able to form 'Christmas bubbles' we're hoping that it brings comfort to families across Waltham Forest who look forward to getting together over the Winter holidays. 

Between 23 and 27 December:

  • you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households
  • you can only be in one Christmas bubble
  • you cannot change your Christmas bubble
  • you can travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble
  • you can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces

Even though this is great news, we must still remember that Covid-19 will still be around, and we need to actively protect ourselves and our family members. We can do this by increasing ventilation and regularly washing our hands. 

Read full guidance

Support for private renters

housing support

Are you living in private rented accommodation? Have you received a notice from your landlord asking you to leave? If so please contact the Council for housing advice. You can call us on 0208 496 3000 or email the team.

We are here to help.

Our officers can provide advice and support to help you remain in your home or assist you in looking for a new home.

The Government has introduced legislation that in most cases requires landlords to give 6 months’ notice of an intention to evict.

Please let us know as soon as you receive notice so we can start working to support you and your family.

Housing support  

We want to know how you're doing

COVID 19 People in masks

Part of our commitment to making sure the right support is in place for our residents, is to understand how the pandemic has and continues to affect your daily lives.

Whether you live alone, have lost your job or worked throughout this time, have caring responsibilities for a vulnerable family member or friend, or have supported your children through this time, the pandemic has affected us all in different ways. 

We've launched a new resident survey, and would be grateful if you can spend a few minutes filling it out to let us know how you are and how we can help. 

The survey will close on Monday 7 December.

 Complete the survey 

Learn more about the 16 days of activism against violence


This week saw the start of ‘16 Days of Activism to Eradicate Gender-Based Violence’ campaign.

We are reflecting on a society where almost one in three women will experience abuse in their lifetime and where nearly three women a week are murdered by their partner or ex-partner. 

Locally, we have seen the number of survivors need support increase since lockdown, as restrictions have provided perpetrators with more opportunities to control and abuse.

There are a number of events planned until 10 December designed to raise awareness of gender-based violence, as well as further information around domestic abuse support services.

Learn about 16 Days

Council Services


Our teams are working hard to make sure key services are delivered to our residents throughout the national lockdown.

Up to date information for each service is available on our website. 

Changes to council services


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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