Your coronavirus update: National lockdown, Covid-19 testing, support available and more

Having trouble reading this email? Click here to view in browser

Leader of the Council Clare Coghill green background

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 

Walthom Forest

We are now in a national lockdown and we all must stay at home unless for essential reasons (food, medicine, medical care.) I know we are all so frustrated and desperate for things to improve but the new variant is spreading fast and we need to pull together as a community to protect our loved ones and our NHS colleagues.

Hospitals across the capital, including Whipps Cross, are at breaking point and now have more Covid-19 patients than at any point during the pandemic. I want to urge every single resident to think about their actions that can help support those doctors and nurses working flat out to save the lives of our friends and neighbours. Tragically fourteen Waltham Forest residents have died from the virus in the past seven days alone. If you choose not to the follow rules be under no illusion that you are putting more lives at risk.

During the last week of 2020, thousands of residents were tested. You can still get tested whether or not you have symptoms and with test sites available every day of the week, I'd encourage you to get tested if you can. 

It's also really important that if you leave home for essential reasons, that you take preventative action. This means wearing your face covering in shops, public transport and enclosed spaces. If you are in need of a face mask, please order your free one on our website. We as a council have given out 52,000 masks as part of our 12 commitments to you  and will continue to do all we can to support residents to get through this difficult period. By wearing a face covering, you will help to protect the most vulnerable people in our society. 

I'm extremely sorry to every resident who continues to be negatively impacted by this pandemic – we need to again come together to support each other through the coming weeks. If you are concerned about either a friend, neighbour or relative there is support available from our Community Help Network (details below).

We can and will get through this together. Stay Safe Waltham Forest.

National lockdown: What does this mean?

Test and Trace

We are now in national lockdown, which means restrictions are changing for all of us. 

National lockdown means: 

  • You should not leave your home, unless for essential reasons (food, medicine or medical care)
  • You should work from home unless you are unable to 
  • You cannot leave your home to socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not part of your social bubbe
  • You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble and this should be limited to once a day 
  • You should not travel outside of your local area 

Please follow these rules to protect your family, our communities and our NHS. Doing this will save lives. 

Full lockdown restrictions 

Enforcement working with Police to keep residents safe and healthy


Waltham Forest’s enforcement team are working with Police to ensure the safety of residents during this stage of lockdown. 

Joint patrols will be run across the borough – with focus on high footfall areas like Walthamstow High Street and Leyton Mills retail park – to ensure that residents are complying with public health regulations with relation to mask-wearing and social distancing.

Police officers have the power to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £200 to anyone who refuses to follow regulations.

Enforcement officers will be working with businesses to ensure that they can operate under new lockdown rules; that they are Covid-secure. For example, cafes, restaurants and pubs can provide food and only non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm).

Lockdown restriction info 

Choosing local from home

Choose Local phase two launch Afshan

Want to choose local from home but not sure where to start?

We have close to 450 businesses on our online directory, from high street shops to traders and a whole range of other brilliant local businesses. 

With our non-essential local economy not currently able to open, it's really important to support these businesses if we can. 

Visit our directory 

Do you need domestic violence support?

Domestic violence

We want to ensure that everyone in our borough has the help and support they need to live free of domestic abuse.  

If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, we invite you to attend the daily drop in service at one of the Children’s Centres across Waltham Forest in order to access help and support from a trained domestic abuse advisor. Find out times on our website and learn more about the following:

  • What if there is no violence – is this abuse?
  • How to claim benefits and access financial support
  • How to access emergency refuge

We also invite anyone experiencing domestic abuse to call the free, 24/7 National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 for support and advice, or check out the helpline website.

Watch the helpline video 

Council services


Our teams are working hard to make sure we provide services during this third lockdown to our residents. 

We have created a dedicated webpage with information on changes to our services, so please do have a look if you have questions or queries about specific services. 

Info on council services

Testing is available every day in Waltham Forest

Test and Trace

Thank you to every resident who has got tested over the last couple of weeks. You are helping us to stop the spread of Covid-19. 

Whether you are experiencing symptoms or not, you can still get tested and we have test sites available seven days a week: 

Open everyday in January 8am - 8pm: 

Stanley Road car park, Leyton E10 7EQ Linford Road car park, Walthamstow E17 3LS

Open everyday in January 10am - 7pm: 

Chingford Assembly Hall, Station Road, E4 7EN

One Hoe Street, Walthamstow E17 4SD

We also have sites available at The Score Card car park, Richmond Road car park in Leyton and Church Lane car park in Walthamstow.

Please visit our website for the full list of opening days and times. 

Test centre information

Do you need help at the moment? We're here.


We know this will be a challenging time for residents, especially if you are shielding to protect yourself, but our Community Help Network are here to help.

The Council’s Customer Resolution staff are just one call away for residents in need to access food, prescriptions and befriending support.

We have also ramped up the friendly ‘check-in’ service in the New Year, where our lovely volunteers telephone call shielding residents to check they have everything they need.

Our priority is to ensure that individuals and families get the help and support they need this winter.

Visit the below webpage for more information on the services and support that’s available to you or a neighbour who you are concerned about.

Get help 

Do you live with elderly relative or have caring duties to a vulnerable person?


If you live in a multi-generational household, or provide care to a vulnerable person, it can be really challenging and worrying to keep everyone safe from Covid-19. 

In these colder months and with cases rising, it's never been more important to protect the vulnerable people you live or care for.

Take these measures to protect them: 

  • Regularly clean any shared bathrooms every time they are used
  • Keep two metres away from them wherever possible, even if you do live together 
  • If you experience symptoms or have confirmed Covid-19, consider wearing a face covering in shared parts of the household 
  • Get tested if you can 

If you need more guidance on how to protect those in your life who are vulnerable, please visit the government website. 

Protect the vulnerable 

Your mind matters

Test and Trace

The ongoing pandemic can cause huge stress to us and cause things such as low moods, anxiety and loneliness. 

Taking care of both your body and mind is really important at the moment, and we've got some really helpful resources over on our website if you feel you're in need of support. 

Mental health support 

Are you part of a community group or network?

Community help

Do you know anyone involved in a community group or network in Waltham Forest? If so, we need your help!

We want to hear from anyone who is part of a community group or network, so we make sure every resident across Waltham Forest can access and understand the latest Covid-19 guidance.

If you or anyone you know could help, please share and fill out our survey. 

Community mapping survey 

Test and Trace

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.


Sign up for email newsletter

Choose which emails I receive

Want to stop receiving emails from Waltham Forest Council? Unsubscribe

Privacy Policy

Contact us