Chelmsford City Council

Coronavirus

  

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 second national lockdown began at 12.01am on 5 November. It applies across England for four weeks, up to and including Wednesday 2 December.

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 these 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
  • people should work from home if their job allows it, which is crucial to bringing down the ‘R’ number in our area

At the end of the lockdown period, the whole of Essex, including Chelmsford, will be in Tier 2.

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

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.


Support for residents

If you need additional support and your GP or the NHS has identified you as clinically extremely vulnerable, you can contact the Chelmsford Centre Supporting Voluntary Action (CVS).

The 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 community@chelmsfordcvs.org.uk.

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 building.control@chelmsford.gov.uk


Planning

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. 


National lockdown business grant 

 As a result of the government announcing a national lockdown, affected businesses can now apply for a grant.  

At present, we are only accepting applications from businesses which are legally required to close as a result of the lockdown.  

We are working on a policy for discretionary grants for other businesses and we will be updating this page as soon as we have finalised our policy. This will include grants for the period 17 October to 4 November 2020, when Essex was under Tier 2 restrictions.

Car parks

From Wednesday 11 November 2020, High Chelmer and Meadows Retail multi-storey car parks will have temporary opening and closing times during lockdown. They will be open from 6am to 7pm from Monday to Saturday and from 6am to 6pm on Sunday.

All of our other car parks remain open as normal.

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

 

Other parking matters

You can read full details of all our other changes to parking arrangements. This includes information about free on-street parking for key workers, enforcement, resident parking and our service levels.

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.

Customer Service Centre

Our Customer Service Centre is open, but with reduced opening hours.


Mobile Customer Information Service

We have suspended our Mobile Customer Information Service visits until further notice.

This is to keep our communities safe considering the current national situation.

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.

Pest control

 

We are currently only dealing with pest control requests regarding rats, mice or wasps. 

You can book a pest control visit.


Bonfires

You should be considerate of your neighbours by not having bonfires. The smoke is having a much bigger effect on people at this time, especially those with health conditions. A bonfire could put someone's health at risk. 

You can report an odour problem.

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.


Homelessness

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.

Unfortunately, under the current lockdown restrictions, our leisure centres have had to close from Thursday 5 November onwards.

We own Riverside Leisure Centre, Chelmsford Sports and Athletics Centre, Dovedale Sports Centre and South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre.

We look forward to welcoming you all back when it is safe to do so.

Chelmsford High Street

Chelmsford City Centre re-opened on Monday 15 June with new social distancing measures in place. These measures include a ‘keep left’ system for pedestrians, street markings and new directional signage.

You can read more in our news release.

You can find out more about the regulations for wearing a face covering and who is exempt. 

If you are exempt, you may wish to display a Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.


Markets

All essential traders will be trading in the High Street market and the indoor market on the usual days.

In the indoor market, this includes takeaway foods, fruit and veg, butchers, cheese stall, food stall, PPE, homewares, hardware, and plants and flowers. 

On the High Street, the fruit and veg, fish, cheese, plants and flowers, and takeaway coffee and foods stall will be open.

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 next spring.

You can read more on the Chelmsford City Museum website.

The following will remain open:

To stay updated, sign up for news at www.chelmsford.gov.uk/mailinglist.   

All outdoor facilities including tennis courts and multi-use sports surfaces across our parks will re-open on 3 December. Grass pitches will re-open on 5 December. 

All toilets will be open, but changing rooms will be closed.

You can find out more by visiting the Love Your Chelmsford website.

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

You can view our coronavirus safety guidance for taxi drivers.

You can also view our coronavirus safety guidance for taxi passengers.

Chelmsford City Theatres is closed until further notice.

To stay updated, sign up for news at  www.chelmsford.gov.uk/mailinglist

The public toilets that we operate will be open during lockdown at the times published on the website.

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


Schools

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: 27 November 2020

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