Council services and changes to lockdown restrictions



The Government sets out changes to lockdown measures in England. Guidance helps people to stay safe, whilst providing an opportunity to return to life as close to normal as possible.

Social distancing is more important than ever as lockdown is not over.   

We are continuing our plans for a phased re-opening of our services to ensure our residents, businesses and staff remain safe. Many of our buildings and services look different in order to support new safety measures and social distancing guidelines to reduce the risk of transmission. This is happening in stages, but many have been continuing to function throughout the lockdown and can be accessed on our website or call centre.  

We have increased cleaning regimes across our estate and put procedures in place to prevent further spread of the virus.  
This page shows latest changes to our services and facilities and the measures we have taken to get them back open. 

Adult Learning Service Click to get info

Our teaching year has started so our main learning centres (Queens Road and the Junction) are open. Unless you have a class, please call 020 8496 2974 to make an appointment before you come to our centres.

Our courses are a blend of online and in-class learning. You can now book one of our wide range of courses and workshops including free jobs help. We are also recruiting new apprentices, and running our successful English Conversation Clubs remotely.

Book a course or stay updated: visit the Adult Learning Service website 

Births, deaths, marriages Click to get info

Our office is resuming some face to face registration services whilst maintain social distancing.  

Birth and marriage registration appointments are available at Leytonstone Library and Walthamstow Library - appointments can be booked online. Walthamstow Library is only open for booked appointments.  

Deaths or stillbirths must now be registered by phone, please call 0208 496 3708 as residents can no longer book an appointment online.  

View registrar pages

Leyton Children and Family Centre remains open for pre-booked midwife appointments by Homerton Hospital or North Middlesex Hospital, and the domestic abuse ‘one stop shop’ drop-in service is open weekdays 10am to 4pm.

Our Children and Family Centres in Walthamstow and Chingford will open from week commencing  13 July  for midwife appointments and pre booked appointments for targeted family support.  Leytonstone Children and Family Centre will be closed until September due to works taking place. All Children and Family Centres will continue to provide services remotely to support you and your children in new and creative ways.

Children and family centres

These remain open with some restrictions in place.   

Opening hours at Chingford Cemetery have recently been extended. 


Guidance and arrangements following a death

Domestic abuse Click to get info

We are continuing to provide a face to face service at the Leyton Children and Family Centre, 215 Queens Road, E17 8PJ, between 10am to 4pm every weekday where you can speak to an advisor whilst social distancing.  

In an emergency never hesitate to call 999; if you cannot speak when the call is answered, dial 55 and the operator will transfer call to local police force as an emergency.  

All local domestic abuse support services remain fully operational by phone or online support.  

Domestic abuse support

Basketball and MUGA courts are open. 

These will be cleaned regularly, however we would ask that the public follow social distancing, use hand sanitiser or wipes, avoid busy times, and do not use equipment if you, or anyone in your household has coronavirus symptoms, or if you are clinically vulnerable.  

Parks and open spaces

Housing Click to get info

Play areas and outdoor gym spaces on our estates are open.  

Our housing staff continue to provide advice and support by phone and email.

We are introducing parking restrictions onto our housing estates to make sure emergency vehicles can always get access. We have increased the cleaning regimes in the communal areas across our estates and brought in measures for social distancing in lifts, reception areas and corridors in our blocks.  

Work has now restarted on some of our planned works in outdoor and communal areas in some of our estates, including repairs in communal areas where we don’t need to enter residents’ homes. All staff and contractors are following strict protocols to ensure they and our residents remain safe.  

Housing support

Leisure centres Click to get info

Better Leisure Centres Leytonstone LC. Leyton Gym, Walthamstow, The Feel Good Centre and Chingford are open to the public.

Facilities at Leyton Leisure Centre and Feel Good Too will open at a later date. 

Leisure centres

Libraries Click to get info

All libraries in the borough are now open or partially open with measures in place to protect staff and visitors. Walthamstow Library is being refurbished and only open for registrars booked appointments and book “click and collect”. 

Library services

Markets Click to get info

All Markets are open with social distancing in place. 

When visiting our markets please remember to help stop the spread of the virus by following these four simple steps: 

  • Only one customer will be served at a time 
  • Do not touch any item you do not intend to buy 
  • Queue in the designated places and stay two metres apart 
  • Use contactless payment whenever possible 

Market officers will be on duty to help customers and traders keep safe 


Museums Click to get info

The William Morris Gallery

The William Morris Gallery permanent displays and special exhibition space are now open to the public again.

The Gallery's opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm. As capacity is reduced booking in advance is advised using Art Tickets.

Booking guarantees access to the Gallery and saves time as your "track and trace" details are recorded in advance, the shop is also open and the café is providing a take away service with limited seating. 

More information can be found on The William Morris Gallery website.

Vestry House Museum

Vestry House Museum remains closed but is available for events.

Playgrounds and outdoor gym equipment are now available for general use. These will be cleaned regularly, however we would ask that the public follow social distancing, avoid busy times, and do not use equipment if you, or anyone in your household, has coronavirus symptoms, or if you are clinically vulnerable.  

All parks in the borough are open on regular summer opening times. This means all parks will begin closing at 9.30pm and reopen by 9am the following morning.  

Tennis courts are currently in use. You can book on Play Tennis Waltham Forest website

Parks and open spaces

Planning services Click to get info

Planning services is accepting and processing applications. 

Face to face and site visits are taking place only in rare circumstances. 

When making a request for Householder Pre-application advice, a formal written response is the only option given. Once accepted, a response will be provided within 28 days. 

Planning and building control

Extending planning permissions

Due to Covid-19 some have been unable to implement consents, as a solutions the Government has implemented new measures to automatically extend the life of applications.

More information on extended permissions

Relaxing hours of construction

The Government has introduced a fast track deemed consent route for developers to apply to vary the hours of construction. Enabling developers to make up for lost time and get their projects back on track.

More information on relaxing hours of construction

Public Health services Click to get info

Change, Grow, Live offers alcohol and drugs misuse support for Waltham Forest residents.  

The service is running but has shifted to telephone-based support and appointments (0203 826 9600).

Stop Smoking Services are continuing to support all patients virtually, via weekly telephone or video call appointments with dedicated specialist stop-smoking practitioners. We are posting any nicotine replacement products to users free of charge. 

Sexual health services all walk-in and non-urgent appointments at All East sexual health services are paused until further notice. However, telephone and online services are available. 

HENRY Best start services for 0-5 support face-to-face interactions have stopped, we are providing a remote service with families via phone, email and videocalls. 


Weekly waste and recycling collections are running as normal and all three reuse and recycling centres (RRCs) are open. Anyone wishing to visit an RRC must book online and follow the restrictions in place.  

The large item collection service is running as normal, all items must be left outside your property for collection as the crew cannot enter residents' homes.