COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Please find below helpful information for Walthamstow residents on Covid-19 (Coronavirus) - this page will be updated with information as and when it is verified as accurate. 


COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Please visit the NHS website for information on COVID-19 (Coronavirus):​


How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus


  • - wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

  • - always wash your hands when you get home or into work

  • - use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

  • - cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

  • - put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards

  • - try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell


  • - do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean


You can find more information here, including information for Walthamstow:

Information in different languages:


Information about Tier 2

Rules relating to businesses and venues:
All businesses and venues should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.
Restrictions on businesses and venues in high alert level areas include:

  • Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am
  • Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through; orders must be made via phone, online or by post
  • Hospitality venues in ports, on transport services and in motorway service areas do not need to close at 10pm, but must not serve alcohol after that time (see the full guidance on what businesses are permitted to remain open
  • Businesses must ensure that they operate in a COVID-secure manner, including restrictions on table service and group bookings
  • Certain businesses and venues are required to collect customer, visitor, and staff data to support NHS Test and Trace
  • The wearing of face coverings for customers and staff in certain indoor settings
  • Businesses must ensure that if their workers are required to self-isolate, they do not work outside their designated place of self-isolation
  • Businesses and venues must ensure people do not meet in their premises with people from outside of their household or support bubble
  • Businesses and venues that fail to comply with these restrictions may face fines of up to £10,000, prosecution, or in some cases closure.

More information can be found at:

Worries surrounding mental health:

There are a number of organisations who are there to provide support for those feeling worried or anxious during these difficult times:

Meeting family and friends:

According to the guidelines:

  • You must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them. This includes private homes, and any other indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants.
  • A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.
  • Informal childcare can also be provided via childcare bubbles.
  • You may continue to see friends and family you do not live with (or have not formed a support bubble with) outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space. When you do so, you must not meet in a group of more than 6. This limit of 6 includes children of any age.
  • Meeting in larger groups is against the law. There are certain exceptions (see below). The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).
  • You can be fined £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.

If you live in a high alert level area you also cannot meet indoors with people outside of the area, unless exceptions apply.

When meeting friends and family you should:

  • follow social distancing rules
  • limit how many different people you see socially over a short period of time

More information can be found at:

Support bubbles:

Support bubbles can be formed between a household with only one adult in the home and one other household (of any size). More information relating to support bubbles can be found at

Workers in the home:

There are exceptions where people from different households can gather beyond the limits set out above. These exceptions are:

  • in a legally permitted support bubble
  • in a legally permitted childcare bubble (see section on childcare below for more details)
  • for work, volunteering to provide voluntary or charitable services (see guidance on working safely in other people’s homes)
  • for registered childcare, education or training
  • for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians
  • for prospective adopting parents to meet a child or children who may be placed with them
  • for supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care (before and after school childcare), youth groups and activities, and children’s playgroups
  • for birth partners
  • to see someone who is dying
  • to provide emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm
  • to fulfil a legal obligation, such as attending court or jury service
  • to provide care or assistance to someone vulnerable
  • to facilitate a house move
  • for a wedding or equivalent ceremony and wedding receptions where the organiser has carried out a risk assessment and taken all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of the virus – up to a maximum of 15 people (not to take place in private dwellings)
  • for funerals – up to a maximum of 30 people; wakes and other commemorative events are permitted with up to 15 people present (not to take place in private dwellings)
  • for elite sportspeople and their coaches if necessary for competition and training, as well as parents or guardians if they are a child
  • for outdoor exercise and dance classes, organised outdoor sport, and licensed outdoor physical activity
  • indoor organised team sports for disabled people, and youth sport
  • support groups of up to 15 participants – formally organised groups to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support (not to take place in private dwellings)
  • protests – if organised in compliance with COVID-secure guidance

Other activities, such as indoor exercise classes and other activity groups can only continue provided that households or support bubbles do not mix. Where it is likely that groups will mix, these activities must not go ahead.

Where a group includes someone covered by an exception (for example, someone who is working), they are not generally counted as part of the gatherings limit. This means, for example, a tradesperson can go into a household without breaching the limit, if they are there for work.

More information can be found at:


Information about Social Distancing

The Government have published a full guide to the conditions of the lockdown and what staying at home means – you can read this here:


Support from the Government for vulnerable people including food deliveries

Register if you have a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. For example, you’ll be able to ask for help getting deliveries of essential supplies like food.

If you’re not sure whether your medical condition makes you extremely vulnerable, register anyway.

You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else.

If you know it, it’s useful to have your NHS number to hand. You can find it on any letter the NHS has sent you or on a prescription.

This service is available in England.


Information from Waltham Forest Council

Latest information from Waltham Forest Council: 

Daily update from Waltham Forest Council: 

- New Single Point of Contact for all queries related to Covid-19:

- Residents who are struggling to buy food can receive Local Welfare Assistance and such as food vouchers and essential household items 

- Discretionary Housing Payments may be available to top-up housing-related benefit for a limited time to cover housing costs like rent 

- Those in significant financial hardship may be able to claim a discretionary reduction in Council Tax 

- Those experiencing exceptional hardship through no fault of their own could qualify for help to reduce their Council Tax bill 


Information about sick pay

There is government guidance for employees, employers and businesses here

Employment rights and sick pay:

Layoffs and short time working:

People who are not eligible for sick pay, particularly the self-employed, are now able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from day one of "illness" rather than day eight. ESA is paid to those who are too sick to work, provided you meet certain conditions.

Additional money has been granted to council for a hardship fund. You can see if you're eligible and apply here: 

There is a tax helpline to support businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)


Information for renters


Information about housing

Waltham Forest Housing has closed the reception area at Cedar Wood House.

Cedar Wood House is closed 

During this period of closure all our services will be conducted via email and telephone. In order to safeguard our residents we are asking only those that require immediate assistance to contact us.


Information about business and employment

The Chancellor has set out a package of measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19:

Updates from Waltham Forest Council:

Self Employment & Universal Credit

Employment & Support Allowance


Information about education

The Department for Education has launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education.

Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687


Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)  


Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision:


Information for cancer patients

Find out more from Cancer Reserach UK here:


Information for older people

The World Health Organisation has some information for older people here:

Waltham Forest Community Hub: If you know of someone, a neighbour or friend who needs help, please call us on 020 8223 0707 or email

Age UK Waltham Forest – 020 8558 5512

Hornbeam  - 020 8558 6880

PL8 4U – 075 393 64110

Revert2Reality – 020 8610 9393


Disability benefits

Claimants on disability benefits will no longer be required to attend face-to-face assessments. The change also covers health checks for Universal Credit.:


Information about Citizens Advice Bureau

- Children and Family centre line: 02085096444, and leave a voice mail, we will allocate for a call back (for families with children who have an issue with debt, benefits or employment).

- If their query is regarding claiming Universal Credit: 0800 144 8 444 (Help to Claim line - Calls are Free) 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday

- If they are able to webchat (for universal credit only):

- They also have the option to call Adviceline  0300 330 1175  - calls charged at local rate 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday  

- SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disability, Information, Advice and Support Service - families call on 020 3233 0251 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm) or email We also have a new website which has a callback booking facility which can be found here

- Direct Payment Support Service - telephone 020 3233 0279 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm)

- Fee Paying Immigration (for residents in and outside of Waltham Forest) - 020 8509 6432 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm)

- Pension Wise - face to face appointments have currently been suspended. Telephone appointment bookings are being developed nationally and this should be available via or telephone 020 3233 0250 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm)

Information for children

Local children’s advocacy group all about kids have produced a web resource for parents about children and corona virus which is being regularly updated:

The Children's Society have created a coronavirus hub on our website for children and families. The hub has resources ranging from loneliness and well-being packs to how to deal with family conflict.


Information about food shopping

There are a number of shops which are delivering food in Walthamstow


Open Near Me 
A website listing lots of local businesses focusing on food and drink and what they are doing from deliveries to vouchers.

Walthamstow Delivery 
A spreadsheet of local businesses and what they are doing. Email to get added:

My Virtual Neighbourhood was born of a desire to keep small businesses going throughout the Coronavirus outbreak. There is a Walthamstow section. Local businesses can contact the site to be included.

Independent food, drink & grocery delivery in walthamstow, e17 during lockdown
A blog featuring a list of local folk who are delivering locally to this very special corner of London:


Other information

Citizen’s Advice

Emergency Funding

Information about shileding:

Information for those with no recourse to public funds:

Information about dentistry:

Dentists have been told to stop or defer all non urgent care e.g. orthodontics and to operate a telephone system for referrals for any urgent matters. Details here of what dentists have been advised:​

For residents who have Cystic Fibrosis or a relative with the condition, the CF Trust have produced a Q&A site that they are updating with advice and information:,143BY,6F1ENT,3WSSX,1