We have also produced a Community Support handbook full of helpful advice and support.
Essex County Council are providing useful information on Community Support in Essex, including how to register for support if you have a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to Coronavirus.
To find out which businesses are open in the local community please visit the Facebook page Brentwood Open
Information on who can get tested and where to get tested for COVID-19 is available on the Essex County Council - Getting tested for COVID-19 webpage.
Public Health England has translated information on COVID-19 into 40 languages, for more information visit the Public Health England website.
Updates in relation to impacts on Brentwood Borough Council services can be found below. The situation is fast moving, and all the latest updates will be posted on this page and on our social media accounts.
Residents and workers in CM13 area of Brentwood advised to get tested following isolated case of South African COVID-19 variant
People aged 16 and over, living or working within the CM13 postcode in Brentwood are being asked to get a COVID-19 test as soon as possible, whether they have symptoms or not. For further information please visit our Coronavirus - CM13 Testing web page.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine
The NHS is giving the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to people most at risk. It will then offer it to the wider population. The NHS or your GP will contact you to make an appointment when it's your turn to get the vaccine.
For more information about the vaccine roll out in Essex visit NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Essex
National Lockdown: Stay at Home
You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
You should follow this guidance immediately.
You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:
- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attend education or childcare - for those eligible
Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.
Higher Education provision will remain online until mid February for all except future critical worker courses.
If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work.
- You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).
- You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.
- You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.
- Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.
Businesses and venues which must close
The regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services.
The full list of businesses required to close can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues, but includes:
- non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
- hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
Further guidance is available at gov.uk
Steps to easing lockdown
The Prime Minister announced on 22 February that a four step approach to easing lockdown will begin with Step 1 from 8 March. A brief guide to the first step is provided below:
- Schools and colleges will open for all students
- Practical Higher Education courses will be able to return
- In addition to recreation or exercise outdoors you can sit down for a drink or picnic with your household or support bubble or one other person.
- The rules on visiting care homes will change to allow regular indoor visits for a single named visitor.
- Wraparound childcare.
- Weddings with up to 6 people attending.
- Funerals with up to 30 people attending.
- Rule of 6 or two households can meet outdoors. No household mixing indoors.
- Parent and child groups can take place outdoors with a limit of 15 attendees (children under five years of age do not count towards the attendee limit)
- Outdoor sport and leisure facilities to re-open.
- Organised outdoor sport allowed for both children and adults.
- Minimise travel, no holidays.
For further information please visit gov.uk
Fast COVID-19 testing centre
A fast testing centre has opened in Brentwood for those who do not have symptoms of COVID-19.
The testing centre is situated at the The Nightingale Centre, Pastoral Way, Warley, Brentwood CM14 5WF.
This testing centre is the third of its kind in Essex and will join The Towngate Theatre in Basildon and The Place Leisure Centre in Pitsea. The tests are only for people that do not have symptoms and give results in around 30 minutes.
As a guide, this centre is for use by people who live in the target areas which correspond to Brentwood, particularly residents in Hutton and Brentwood North.
Tests are by appointment only, and anyone booking must live in one of the areas described above. Booking can be made by calling 0333 772 6144. Lines are open from 8am to 8pm every day including Saturday and Sunday.
Anyone with symptoms should book a test via the NHS Test and Trace App or at Gov.uk - get a free NHS test
NHS COVID-19 app
The new NHS COVID-19 app has been launched to assist with ‘test and trace’.
What the app does:
- Trace - get alerted if you've been near other app users who have tested positive for coronavirus.
- Alert - lets you know the level of coronavirus risk in your postcode district.
- Check-in - get alerted if you have visited a venue where you may have come into contact with coronavirus.
Additional features include an official NHS QR code scanner, which removes the need to fill in forms with your contact details, symptoms reporter tool, booking a test and receiving its results, and keeping track of your self-isolation countdown as well as advice.
The app can be downloaded from the Apple or Google Play stores and search for 'NHS COVID-19 app'.
Further information is available on the NHS COVID-19 website.
It is a legal requirement for all designated businesses and venues to log details of customers, visitors and staff for NHS Test and Trace and from Thursday 24 September they will be required to display official NHS QR code posters.
More information on the app and the requirements of businesses can be found on Gov.uk or you can read more about which venues in England should display official NHS QR code posters.
Additional information can also be found on our Brentwood Open web page.
COVID-19 Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme
The Government has introduced a Test and Trace Support Payment to support people in employment and meet the qualifying criteria. Further information is available on our COVID-19 Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme web page.
We are only carrying out external site inspections physically, with internal inspections being conducted virtually. If you require an inspection for internal works please email photographs and details to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that following an inspection request, we may contact you to request a virtual inspection should we feel that a physical inspection will not be safe to carry out. To arrange a completion inspection, please email email@example.com. We will assess whether or not the inspection can be carried out virtually, and may ask that the request be delayed until restrictions are lifted. Further information and details of how to book are available on our Site Inspections web page.
Burials and funerals
Burials and funerals are still taking place, however those attending must comply to the governments guidance of social distancing and keep at least 2 metres apart.
The government has announced new grant schemes to support businesses impacted by the national lockdowns, Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4. Applications are now open, including applications for the discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant and the Essex Business Adaptation Fund. Visit the Business Support page for more information.
Information on advice and support for businesses is provided on our Business Support web page.
Getting back to work safely - Guidance and information for employers and employees
Social distancing and other methods will always be practised by the Council's enforcement officers in line with Government guidance.
There may be a delay in processing permits under the current circumstances. Registration details are kept on record for renewals and a Penalty Charge Notice will not be issued for those waiting for a permit to be delivered.
Please continue to check this page for updates.
The following sport and leisure facilities are affected:
- The Brentwood Centre is closed for leisure purposes but remains open for vaccinations
- Hartswood Golf Course is closed
- Walking for Health is currently suspended
- Public toilets in Ingatestone are closed
- Countryside Management Volunteers is suspended until further notice
- Please check the Essex libraries website for details of opening times and services currently available.
All indoor and outdoor youth and adult grassroots football, including under 18s (except organised outdoor football for disabled people, which is allowed to continue) is not permitted on any Brentwood Borough Council pitches in line with Government National Lockdown restrictions.
Places of Worship - The Directors of Public Health for Essex, Southend and Thurrock strongly advise that all places of worship should close for congregational worship from tomorrow morning (Friday 8 January). All prayer and services should move online with no congregation physically present. Other activities, such as support groups, take place by other means or are cancelled. The only exception is for funerals. Further guidance is provided in the letter from the Directors of Public Health for Essex, Southend and Thurrock.
Organisations or groups who need advice or support can contact the Council's Community Services team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Brentwood Community Hub is appealing for volunteers to help those who are struggling during the latest COVID-19 restrictions. Donations of food, toiletries and essentials are also needed to ensure that the Community Hub can keep up with demand. Further information.
If you find yourself having to stay at home and need help with picking up shopping, a friendly phone, posting mail or urgent supplies please contact a Community Help Hub in your area/village and they can help.
Further support can be found from the following groups:
Brentwood Residents' Action Group (BRAG) - contact 07553 788009 or 07961 972917
Community Agents are working, however they will not be visiting anyone unless its deemed essential. They will be doing welfare phone calls and collecting shopping and medication etc but leaving it outside.
They have a full update on their website Community Agents Essex
Under the current circumstances the Brentwood Community Transport 808 service has been suspended in the interests of the safety of their drivers and passengers.
Allotments are open, but if attending please follow government guidance on social distancing. For further guidance please go to the National Allotment Society website
Community Safety & Enforcement
We are currently operating a telephone service only. If you need to report an urgent matter or require advice please call 01277 312500. If your enquiry is non-urgent, please complete the on-line General Enquiry form.
For details of advice and support available please go to our Community Safety web page.
As a result of COVID-19 restrictions the procedure for dealing with unauthorised gypsy or traveller encampments may be subject to change based on Government and Essex Police advice. Further information is available on our Unauthorised Encampments web page.
Council Tax & Business Rates
Information on support for businesses affected by the Covid-19 virus is provided on our Business Rates web page.
Council Tax Hardship Funds - The Government has made it clear that individuals should not suffer financially as a result of COVID 19. For information please go to our Hardship Funds web page.
Council tenants – general and rent
We are currently operating a telephone service only. If you need to report an urgent matter or require advice please call 01277 312500. If your enquiry is non-urgent, please complete the on-line Tenant Services (not repairs enquiries) form or email email@example.com
Council tenants – repairs
If you would like to cancel your repair at this time please call us on 01277 312500 and we will be happy to assist. If you or anyone in your household are experiencing any symptoms of coronavirus, please do call us as soon as possible to advise, alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for all of your repair needs
Gas Safety inspections have been conducted throughout the lockdown period as this is a legal obligation of the Council.
Axis will continue to wear PPE when attending your property for repairs or services and will ask you to remain 2 meters or more away at all times.
We will continue to keep residents updated on the current service provision on this page.
Dog warden service
During the coronavirus pandemic the response from the dog warden may take longer than usual. Wallace Kennels are continuing to accept dogs, however please telephone them beforehand and under no circumstances should you go to the kennels if you are unwell or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Further information is available on our Lost & Stray Dogs web page.
The dog warden continues to collect stray dogs and is operating safe precautions such as social distancing when visiting properties etc.
In accordance with the current national lockdown restrictions and to ensure the safety of both staff and residents, site visits by Environmental Health officers will be limited and if a visit is necessary, will be held externally. Only in exceptional circumstances will internal visits to residents homes or businesses be undertaken, provided that appropriate health and safety measures such as social distancing and PPE are adhered to.
Citizens Advice Brentwood has developed a new digital tool, ‘Making Every Penny Count’ to improve the financial wellbeing of our local residents.
We know that this is an anxious time for many people. This new digital brochure is packed full of helpful ways to maximise household income, save money and prevent financial problems, designed specifically to help anyone living in the south of Essex:
Additional support is also available from their specialist Money Advice team by calling 01277 358082.
For any general enquiries please contact Citizens Advice on 0300 330 2101.
Food hygiene courses have been suspended until further notice.
Housing estate inspections
Due to the coronavirus pandemic it was necessary to put all estate inspections on hold across all housing blocks with communal areas. The inspections will now recommence and will be carried out on a regular basis by a Housing Officer.
Housing options & homelessness
We are currently operating a homelessness triage service by telephone. If you require urgent housing advice due to immediate homelessness please call 01277 312500 who will transfer you to our Duty Officer who will be able to assess your circumstances and provide appropriate guidance. If your enquiry is non-urgent, please complete the Housing Advice form on-line and an Officer will contact you. For further information please go to our Finding Somewhere to Live & Homelessness web page.
We are making some changes to our Licensing Services to help minimise the disruption caused to licence holders by Covid-19 and to reduce unnecessary contact.
Please see the latest advice and information for hackney carriage and private hire drivers on our Taxi and Minicab and Coronavirus safety tips for drivers web pages. Further guidance is provided for passengers on our Coronavirus safety tips for passengers
There is currently restricted access to the public at the Depot, so please do not arrive there without a specific appointment. Alternative arrangements are being put in place to enable essential paperwork to be submitted electronically where possible and where this is not already in place.
All close contact service providers such as beauty salons, tattoo studios, spas and barbers are strongly advised to follow the guidance on how to work safely.
If you have a query regarding an existing licence or application please contact email@example.com.
Whilst we hope that Brentwood residents and businesses fully comply with the government regulations, Brentwood Borough Council alongside colleagues at Essex Police have enforcement responsibilities to ensure compliance.
To report non-compliance around business closure, please email details to firstname.lastname@example.org, for non-compliance around public gatherings and restrictions on movement please refer to Essex Police.
We are holding pre-application meetings online and by telephone. Please continue to view this page for updates.
Reception / Council offices
Until further notice, Town Hall reception services are available online or by telephone (01277 312500) only.
Weddings - In accordance with government guidelines weddings and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place with up to 6 people. Anyone working is not included. These should only take place in exceptional circumstances, for example, an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life changing surgery. Please check our weddings and ceremonies web page for updates.
Viewings of the Town Hall wedding venues are currently suspended.
Waste & recycling
Household waste and recycling collections are operating as normal. Please continue to check this page for updates.
While we redeploy our operatives to essential waste services, we regret that some of our other services may be disrupted. If you need to report a street scene issue, please use our online reporting tool or contact us on 01277 312500 and we will complete all work in priority order.
Due to national restrictions, the collection of recycling receptacles have been temporarily suspended until further notice.
Business waste: Due to COVID-19, existing customers can suspend collections with immediate effect. Bins will remain at the current location and collections will resume only on the customers instruction. All charges will reflect the suspension.
All Essex recycling centres remain open as per current operating times. the sites are open specifically for essential household waste during the national lockdown. You may travel to a recycling centre to dispose of waste that you cannot safely store in your home or that your kerbside collections do not accept.
The recycling site at Warley is now open.
The textile collection service has resumed.
Please continue to check this page for updates.
Guidance on how to get rid of your waste if you are either self-isolating or confirmed to have Coronavirus is provided on the Love Essex website
Essex County Council services
For updates on how Essex County Council services are affected, please visit the Essex County Council - Coronavirus website. This includes information on services such as schools, libraries, country parks and public transport.
How can you help
- Keep up to date with information and public health advice
- Download and share the Community Support Booklet
- Please try to pay, report or apply for services online
Register to become a NHS volunteer
Vaccine site volunteers required to help with marshalling and supporting less mobile residents around the site as well as handling out refreshments and chatting whilst they have their jab and are observed by clinical staff. Telephone Brentwood Mutual Aid on 01277 424 953 for further information.
Your data during the Coronavirus crisis
We have prepared a privacy notice to advise how we will deal with your data during the current Coronavirus crisis
Message from the Leader of the Council - recorded March 20th 2020 and refers to the weekend March 21st - 22nd 2020.