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Coronavirus in Leicester

Get the latest information and advice

Service updates in Leicester

We're working hard to protect staff, services and the people of Leicester. In particular, protecting the city’s most vulnerable residents is a high priority. Unfortunately, some of our services will need to be changed or suspended for a period of time, but we will keep you informed and up to date on those changes.

 

Your council

Our customer service centre on Granby Street is now open. The centre is operating with limited services and by appointment only. Find out how to book an appointment and get details about the safety measures we have put in place.

You can still make use of our online services, contact us by email or phone:

All ward meetings have been cancelled with immediate effect until further notice.

Remember that your local councillors are still very much available to provide support and guidance and although they may not be able to meet with you in person, you can still get in touch with them by email or phone.

We are working to minimise the impact of the coronavirus on bereavement and registration services. For that reason, we have introduced temporary changes. Our cemeteries and crematorium remain open. Get more details on service changes to births, marriages and deaths.

The Records Office is now closed until further notice. Further information will be available on The Record Office website.

The housing register is now open. For the latest information please see our housing page.

If you are at risk of losing your home or are at risk of harm in your current home/circumstances then please call us on 0116 454 1008.

We are experiencing a high demand for our service and this may cause delays in answering your call and processing your applications.

To submit a crisis application and for further information please visit our community support grant page

If you're struggling to make payments due to the coronavirus, please ring us on 0116 454 1005. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am - 6pm. 

The family support service and Corner Club at Border House has been cancelled until further notice. 


Schools and learning

All pupils, in all year groups, will start to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. We understand that some parents may have concerns about their children returning to school. You can find all the latest information on our returning to school for the autumn term page.

Childcare and early education settings can now open to all children. Parents and carers may have similar concerns about their child returning to childcare.  Our return to early education page provides more information.

We know that you want to help support your child’s learning and education as much as possible during the coronavirus school closures. To aid your child’s learning at home and to support the work that your child’s school will have set for them, we have compiled this list of useful resources for you.

Some parents have received an email stating the following: ‘As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported’.

We can confirm that this is a scam email and is not official. We urge parents that if you receive any emails like this, please do not respond, and delete it immediately.

Classes at Leicester Adult Education Centre and Bishopdale are now all cancelled until further notice. Learners will be contacted directly about plans and further information. For further queries such as online learning, emails, examinations and assessments go to the coronavirus information for learners page.


Environment

You should only come to our sites if your waste cannot be stored safely at home. Please follow our regular updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Gypsum Close and Freemen's Common recycling centres are open daily from 8am to 8pm (from 1 November 8am - 6pm). However, we may need to close the gates or ask people to stop queuing earlier than the stated closing time. This is to allow the sites to be cleaned and sanitised, and also for us to manage any existing queue. This means that you won't be turned away from the sites if you have already been queuing for any time. 

The Reuse Shop is currently operating reduced opening hours, Mon - Sat 9am to 4pm, Sunday is closed.

Please take note of the guidelines below:

  • The sites will be operating under a one in one out system to ensure social distancing, so it is expected that there will be long queues and significant delays. 
  • A single direction queue will be managed on Lewisher Road for Gypsum Close. Please approach via the Barkby Road end of Lewisher Road, as there is no right turn into Gypsum Close for the public.
  • A single direction queue will be managed on Islington Street and Counting House Road for Freemen’s Common. Please approach via Counting House Road only.
  • To keep surrounding roads clear around Freemen's Common, long queues will not be allowed to form – please be prepared to be turned away if the site is busy.
  • Please sort your waste before visiting so that you can offload quickly and easily. 
  • Stay in your vehicle while queuing to aid with social distancing. Please do not leave your vehicle until it is necessary to get out.
  • Stay safe – wear protective gloves, appropriate footwear and clothing and only bring what you can safely handle as staff will not be able to help you carry your waste as they normally would. 
  • You must keep a 2 metres distance from others at all times. 
  • Do not visit if you or anyone in your household are in self-isolation or have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Asbestos and chemicals can only be disposed of at Freemen's Common. If disposing of asbestos please call ahead.
  • Vans, pickups and trailers longer than 1.4m are not permitted at Freemen's Common. From 14 September all vans, pickups and large trailers will need to obtain a permit before taking waste at Gypsum Close. Go to our recycling centres page for more details.
  • There is no pedestrian access to either site until further notice.

The trade waste facility at Gypsum Close is open to businesses Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm with safety measures in place. Only card payments will be accepted. Biffa staff will not be able to assist in unloading any waste.

Please be aware that waiting times for a bulky waste collection may be longer than usual.

Waste and recycling roadside collection services are currently operating as normal.

If someone in your home has coronavirus symptoms, please put their personal waste (such as used tissues) in a separate rubbish bag, place that into another bag, tie securely and keep separate from other waste for 72 hours before placing it in your refuse bin.


Transport

If you are unable to apply for a blue badge online, we are now offering telephone applications during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please call us on 0116 454 5600

We are currently prioritising taxi renewals and applications with statutory deadlines only. Get full details of temporary changes.

All parking services and enquiries including fines and permit applications have resumed. However, there may still be the occasional delay.

Information on penalty charge notices and how to make payment can be found on the Parking fines and enforcement page.

Information on parking permits and how to make an application can be found on the Get a parking permit page.

General information on parking can be found on our Parking in Leicester page

Newarke Street car park is now open with safety measures installed. Find out more on our press release issued on 27 May.

All enquiries are now delayed, apologies for any inconvenience caused.

If you need to renew a bus pass or report it stolen or lost, please go to the Bus and concessionary fares information page.

The secure public cycle parking service has now resumed. There will be no public access to toilets and showers at this time.

The parking will be free of charge until further notice. For further information on opening times go to our
cycle parking page.

All Shopmobility services in the city have closed.

Park & Ride services from Meynell's Gorse and Enderby are now running. The Birstall site which is being used as a coronavirus test centre, will remain closed for now. To find out the latest information, please go to our Park & Ride webpage.

 

Leisure and culture

Our sport and leisure centres are open. Get the latest information on our FAQs page.

Humberstone Heights Golf Course is open with some important changes in place. For further details go to the Humberstone Heights Golf page.

Our parks are currently all open, although Pets' Corner in Abbey Park and all city ball courts will remain closed until further notice. Public toilets are open at all park sites. All Leicester environmental volunteering sessions remain on hold due until further notice.

Information and advice

The risk of infection outside is significantly lower than inside, so the government has updating the rules so that, as well as exercise, people can also now spend time outdoors subject to:

  • You are able to meet outdoors with groups of up to six people from different households, provided social distancing is observed and you stay 2 meters away from anyone outside your household or support bubble.
  • Continued compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain two meters (6ft) away from people outside your household.
  • Good hand hygiene, particularly with respect to shared surfaces.
  • you can now exercise alone, with members of your household, or with up to, but no more than 5 other people from outside your household while keeping 2 meters apart at all times.
  • You may drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance, so long as you respect social distancing guidance while they are there, because this does not involve contact with people outside your household.
  • Team contact sports are still not permitted and all ball courts remained closed.
  • Outdoor gyms and children’s outdoor play areas across the city are open for use. Safety signs are on display at all 247 playgrounds reminding everyone of the need for 2m social distancing and other hygiene measures. Users of the outdoor gyms and parents and carers visiting play areas are encouraged to bring wipes and sanitiser to clean touch points such as equipment handles.

Scattering ashes - service resumes

Ashes can be scattered at any of our parks, as well as along a stretch of the River Soar near to the National Space Centre. You must pay a fee and complete a service request form if you would like to scatter ashes in a park. Full details are available in the attachments at the bottom of the using our parks page.

Our tennis courts on parks are open. 

Please participate in permitted sports, leisure and recreational activities responsibly, following the current government guidelines and adhere to social distancing at all times.

Easings of the Leicester lockdown have allowed some venues in the city to return to competitive grassroots football in line with FA guidance. These venues are secure sites that do not have free public access and are deemed Covid secure, such as clubs/organisations that own and operate their own facility. This includes our venues such as the 3g pitches at Aylestone Recreation Ground, Riverside and New College.

This means:

  • Residents can now play team sport in any number if this is formally organised by a sports club or similar organisation and sports-governing body guidance has been issued.

Should you have a booking enquiry regarding a 3g pitch, please contact us at active@leicester.gov.uk.

These easements do not apply our parks and open spaces where the government guidelines in relation to outdoor social gatherings still apply.

This means:

  • You can play cricket or football informally, but must still operate to the guidelines on meeting outdoors. Which means only socialising in groups of up to six people from multiple households and social distancing.
  • Gatherings larger than six should only take place if everyone is exclusively from two households or support bubbles and must not exceed 30 people.

If you are unsure as to whether your local facility can align with national guidance, contact them directly.

Leicester Museum and Art Gallery is open. Visitors are requested to book online to aid social distancing. For further information please visit the Leicester museums website.

Belgrave Hall is open too. Pre-booking is not required for Belgrave Hall.

All our allotments are open to the public as usual. However, please ensure that the 2 metres social distancing is followed at all times whilst on site. Any plot holder that is self-isolating because a household member is ill with coronavirus should not visit the site. Further information can be found on the National Allotment Society website.

We are reviewing our wider programme of festivals and events.

De Montfort Hall is closed to the public. For more information on your bookings please go to the De Montfort Hall website.

 

Social care

If you have concerns about a child or an adult at risk, help continues to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. How to report concerns if you are worried about a child.

How to report concerns if you are worried about an adult at risk. For more information about who an ‘adult at risk’ might be, see Leicester Safeguarding Adults Board.

Please note that you cannot currently report concerns at the Customer Service Centre on Granby Street because it is closed. 

Under the emergency coronavirus legislation, the council is permitted to make changes to social care services if this becomes necessary. These are called ‘easements’ to the Care Act. We are not using these powers currently and we hope that we will not have to in future. Find out more about easements.


Community

We have re-opened some of our libraries. Other buildings and branches will follow over the coming months, in line with our reopening plan and updated government guidance. More information on which libraries have re-opened and how our services have changed visit the reopening libraries page.

We have now expanded our e-resources including eBooks, eAudio, eMagazines and eComics. We now also provide online storytelling sessions for children. To access our virtual library, activities and resources, please visit our Libraries from home page.

Youth centres: All of our youth centres remain closed.


Business

For more information on changes to business rates and other related grants, see our business rates page

All of our First Aid and Food Safety training courses have now restarted. Do check individual course pages to see available dates.

All clients who had courses cancelled during the lockdown will be contacted and offered future dates. If your FAW or EFAW expired on or after 16
 March 2020, HSE have extended this until 30 September.

All PFA qualifications that expired on or after 16
 March 2020 have been extended to 25 November 2020.

We are prioritising those people whose certificates need to be renewed by the end of September. 

Statements released during lockdown:

We have a large portfolio of lets including industrial units, shop premises, offices, managed work spaces and grazing land. We understand that some of our customers during the global outbreak of COVID-19 may not be able to afford to pay these charges when they receive their invoices from us.

When necessary and to support those businesses and individuals affected, whist we cannot waive an invoice we can offer some support over the coming weeks.

This includes:     

  • Spreading the cost of an invoice and agreeing an installment arrangement.
  • Reducing the amount you pay, if you currently pay by installments.
  • Agreeing a temporary moratorium – pausing the need to make payments.
  • Suspending any debt enforcement proceedings.

(Please note that if your invoice is currently being collected by a third party, they will continue to contact you and make appropriate arrangements considering your circumstances).

During the outbreak, we will assess your ability to pay over the telephone. You will not be required to complete an income and expenditure form and return this to us. Any revised arrangements to pay will not be extended automatically. Invoices will be due in full at the end of a 12-week period, and you must contact us again if you remain unable to pay your invoice in full. Once we have assessed your ability to pay, a letter will be sent to you if the amount you are required to pay changes. 

You can contact us at income.collection@leicester.gov.uk or by telephone on 0116 454 1010.

 

Planning

Due to the closure of our offices, there will be some delays in service such as the validation of new applications and responding to queries. We will not be offer face to face meetings, but will be looking into online alternatives. The arrangements for the Planning and Development Control Committee are currently under review. We would appreciate a constructive approach from applicants and agents to agreeing reasonable extensions of time for planning applications wherever possible and necessary.


Other services

The services below are currently operating as normal, however due to high demand please only get in touch if absolute necessary as we are prioritising urgent requests;

  • Trading standards
  • Noise and pollution
  • Building control
  • Public safety
  • Food safety team
  • Private sector housing
  • Area environmental health
Street sweeping

We are operating the removal of litter, detritus and graffiti throughout Leicester.

Please take note to follow updates within the waste and recycling centres and bulky waste collection service section in how to dispose of your unwanted household items.