Chelmsford City Council


We understand that our residents and customers may have concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. We would like to reassure you that we are working with the government, NHS, other councils, partners and community groups to keep people safe. 

You can:

National lockdown in place

A third national lockdown began at 12.01am on 5 January. It applies until further notice.

This means that:

  • you have to stay at home, except for specific purposes
  • you can’t gather with people you don’t live with, except in exceptional circumstances
  • certain businesses and venues in the non-essential retail, leisure, entertainment and personal care industries will have to close
  • pubs, bars and restaurants must close too, but can provide non-alcoholic takeaways
  • you should work from home if possible

In addition, if you are  clinically extremely vulnerable, you follow the  shielding guidance.

You can find: 

Prevent coronavirus spreading

Everyone must help stop the spread of coronavirus.

The steps we can take to help control the virus are:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • keep your distance from people not in your household if you go out (two metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly
  • wear a mask where required

If you or anyone in your household has symptoms, do not leave home and immediately get a test. People with symptoms can only leave home to get the test.

Where social distancing is not possible, you should wear a face covering. If you are unable to wear a face covering, you can download an exemption card.

Test and Trace

You can find more information about getting tested for covid-19.

You can download the NHS Covid-19 app on the Apple Store or Google Play.

If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and have been told to self-isolate, you may be entitled to a self-isolation payment.

Mass testing

You can read more about getting tested if you don't have symptoms and can't work from home.

Vaccine rollout

You can find out the latest about the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine from the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT).

Support for residents

If you are isolated and in need of support, you can contact the Chelmsford Centre Supporting Voluntary Action (CVS).

Their Community Response Hub can offer practical support, such as food shopping assistance or collecting prescriptions, for those without friends, neighbours or family to help. The helpline number is 01245 280731 and the email address is

You can also view Essex County Council's  coronavirus support for residents for advice, support and organisations you can contact if you need other help. 

Building control

We will continue to assess all building applications in the same way and aim to meet our current turnaround timescales. 

If you are still undertaking building work, you must still notify us when you reach each stage of work, according to your Inspection Service Plan. 

We will be answering all queries on the phone instead of visiting a site in person. Therefore you must provide a suitable phone number. This will allow us to contact you to understand the full extent of the work needed and the site setting, as necessary. 

This will help us determine the correct response to protect you, ourselves and the wider community.

You can contact Building Control on 01245 606431 or email


We are continuing to process planning applications as near normally as possible. You can submit new applications online using the Planning Portal.

We are continuing to send neighbour notification letters to anyone we think will be affected by a planning application. You can comment on an application using Public Access.

We are not posting site notices in every case, only where the law requires them. 

We are undertaking site visits where possible, but are not going into buildings unless absolutely necessary. We are asking applicants to provide photographs with their application. 

We are not able to offer face to face meetings with planning officers. However, you can meet with our officers online via Skype or Microsoft Teams. You can also request planning advice in writing.

You can view our coronavirus help and guidance for businesses and employers for details of Business Rates changes, business support grants and other advice. 


If your business receives a business rate bill from us (even if you don’t have to pay anything) and has had to close as a result of the national lockdown, you can apply for a grant. This grant is funded by the government, but is administered by us.

There are also other local schemes, funded by us and by Essex County Council, which we also administer. These are aimed at businesses who were affected by the first Tier 2 restrictions, or who had to pay out extra money to adapt their business to stay open during lockdown.

If you may also be eligible for a one-off grant if you run a 'wet-led' pub.

You can find out more and how to apply for these schemes.

All of our car parks are open but our multi-storeys will close at 7pm each day under lockdown, until further notice. 

We are also offering some free parking for NHS staff. 

You can read full details of the scheme and all our changes to parking arrangements.

You need to check with Essex County Council regarding their Park and Ride service.

If you are attending a funeral you must wear a face covering, unless you are exempt. 

We will also be asking for your contact details for NHS Test and Trace. We will only keep your details for 21 days.

You can view our coronavirus guidance for Cemetery and Crematorium.

If your income has been affected by coronavirus and you need help with your rent or Council Tax payments, we want to provide you with some information to help you at this difficult and uncertain time.

You can view our coronavirus guidance for Council Tax and benefits.

If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and have been told to self-isolate, you may be entitled to a self-isolation payment.

For more wide-ranging advice regarding your finances, you may find this Money Navigator Tool produced by the Money Advice Service helpful.

Our Customer Service Centre is currently closed.

The Police, Fire and Crime Commission elections scheduled for May 2020 have been postponed to May 2021. We have also postponed the by-election for the Councillor vacancy in Moulsham Lodge.

You can see more information on our upcoming elections page.

Protections for renters

The government has announced new protections for renters during the national coronavirus restrictions. You can read about these new protections on GOV.UK.


As soon as you become aware that you are at risk of homelessness, you can contact us.It is sometimes possible to prevent homelessness with the right help and advice, early on.

Together with our partners Churches Homeless Emergency Support Scheme (CHESS), Essex County Council, the Police and other local organisations, we are currently concentrating efforts to maintain contact with rough sleepers.

We're also planning for more accommodation with the aim to manage the risk of illness and reduce the need for people to go back to the streets.

If you are a landlord or tenant concerned about the possibility of ending a tenancy and eviction, you can visit GOV.UK for support.

Our leisure centres are currently closed.

You can find out more on our sports pages.

You can find more information on our Licensing coronavirus guidance page.

Under lockdown, only stalls selling food and other essential goods will be trading at the Retail Market. At present, the following stalls are open:

  • fruit and veg stall (Tuesday to Saturday)
  • butchers stall (Tuesday to Saturday)
  • cheese stall (Thursday to Saturday)
  • health foods stall (Tuesday, Friday and Saturday)
  • Thai stall (take away only)

The market will be closing early, at 3pm.

The High Street market will be open on Fridays and Saturdays for essential traders only.

All our meetings are now online. 

You can view guidance on how to join and view the meetings online as part of the agendas.

The museum is currently closed and won't be able to reopen until spring 2021.

You can read more on the Chelmsford City Museum website.

The following will remain open:

To stay updated, sign up for news at   

Due to the current lockdown, all tennis courts and multi-use sports surfaces in our parks are now closed.

Our parks themselves are still open. Outdoor play areas and toilets will also remain open.

Following the latest government restrictions, we advise you:

  • stay local and exercise near to where you live
  • don't travel to other parts of Chelmsford, unless you have a valid reason


Knowledge tests

Due to the current lockdown, we have suspended all knowledge tests until further notice. We will resume these tests when it is safe to do so.

You can find more information on our Licensing coronavirus guidance page.

Guidance for drivers and passengers

We have produced some coronavirus safety guidance for taxi and private hire vehicle drivers and passengers.

You can view our coronavirus safety guidance for:


Chelmsford City Theatres is closed until further notice.

To stay updated, sign up for news at

The public toilets that we operate are open at the times published on the website.

Report a breach

If you are concerned that a person or business is not following the law regarding coronavirus restrictions, you can report a breach to Essex Police.

Protect yourself against coronavirus-related scams

There are numerous bogus emails and text messages circulating, so find out how to spot them and protect yourself from fraud.

Privacy notice 

We have published a new privacy notice during the coronavirus outbreak.

Essex County Council services


We are not responsible for schools and education, as this comes under the remit of Essex County Council. 

Household recycling centres

We are not responsible for household recycling centres household recycling centres, as this comes under the remit of Essex County Council. 

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Last updated: 12 February 2021

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