COVID 19 - Coronavirus
Service updates - including the latest changes
Recent changes (updated 24 July 2020)
Herts County Council has reopened Household Waste and Recycling Centres.
Further market stalls will be operating (with appropriate social distancing measures in place).
Herts County Council has closed a number of roads and parking bays to promote social distancing in busy areas. Further closures will follow.
Car parking controls have resumed. See: press release.
Museum Service - St Albans Museum + Gallery café has reopened. See: press release on the phased reopening plans for local museums.
New help for people facing redundancy is on offer. See: press release.
Businesses are being urged to take part in our survey to tell us how they are coping with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.. See: press release.
The latest information about changes to our services resulting from the Coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic can be found on this webpage.
For general health advice and guidance - including businesses, employers and employees - please visit the GOV.UK website.
For the latest information on schools, libraries, social care services and transport, please visit the Hertfordshire County Website
Our primary concern is the health and wellbeing of everyone living, working and visiting St Albans.
Bonfires during COVID-19
Residents in St Albans City and District are being urged not to burn garden waste or other materials during the lockdown.
With many people following Government advice to stay home due to the Coronavirus restrictions, far more of us will be spending time at home or outside in their gardens.
Residents are reminded that Coronavirus (Covid-19) can cause significant respiratory problems for people who contract the illness. Many people will be managing their symptoms at home. The effects of bonfires at this time are likely to be much more serious and have a bigger impact on the health of those suffering from the virus or other respiratory conditions, including asthma.
By choosing not to burn waste will not only help the health and well-being of those at home who may be ill, but it will also significantly reduce the chances of a fire getting out of control and spreading to neighbouring properties, which creates extra pressure on the already busy emergency services.
At the best of times, bonfires can be very irritating to neighbours if the smoke stops them enjoying their gardens, opening windows or hanging out washing etc.
Composting is an excellent alternative to burning green waste. Not only is it better for the environment it is a good way of helping to grow things in your garden in the future.
For further information and advice on bonfires please visit https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/environmental-services
If your income has been affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic you may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Universal Credit and/or Council Tax Support.
If your income has been affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic you are advised to claim Council Tax Support and to make enquiries with the DWP as to what other help you may be entitled to.
Residents may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit.
You can apply for Council Tax Support via https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/difficulty-paying In the meantime if you are worried about payments being debited from your account that you cannot afford, you might want to consider contacting your bank to cancel your direct debit instruction.
The Government is announcing new measures to help individuals every day and we will publish information about what other help is available on our website
Our roads across the St Albans City and District are becoming busier as schools and businesses start to reopen, this means that road safety and traffic movements will become more and more important for our residents and emergency services in addition to keeping us all moving. Therefore, our parking enforcement will need to adjust to help this process.
We have already been enforcing some restrictions in the normal way to assist essential workers and other key members of our community. However, from the following dates other key enforcement areas will need to be reimplemented.
From June 8th 2020
On street (Highway)
pay and display bays and limited waiting freebays in non-residential areas.
Enforce contraventions in HCC Social Distancing locations as implemented by the Highways authority.
Off street (Car Parks)
Enforcement for failing to display/purchase a valid ticket or making appropriate payment. (some free parking will remain available for key workers such as the Police and Shop Workers)
Free parking for some NHS and care workers will continue in line with government rules.
From July 1st 2020
On street (Highway)
Enforcement of all Residential Zones across the District.
Off Street (Car Parks)
Enforcement of all car parks in the normal manor as described on the relevant tariff boards.
Removal of free parking for supermarket workers and police in civic.
Free parking for some NHS and care workers will continue in line with government rules.
For more help or assistance please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01727 751 824 and chose the appropriate option for your enquiry.
Repairs Covid -19
Morgan Sindall is operating with a reduced service. Priority is being given to emergency repairs.
Our recycling and rubbish collections are continuing as normal.
Recycling and Rubbish collection is a high priority council service and we will do everything possible to keep it going whatever the circumstances.
Please help us keep the service running and protect bin collectors by taking certain precautions when disposing of your rubbish.
Wherever possible please make sure that all domestic waste is disposed of in sealed bags and that your bin lid is firmly closed.
Please continue to place your recycling and garden waste in the usual bins.
For the latest information about Hertfordshire County Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres, including those that are currently open, see:
The Government has confirmed its intention to relax planning rules to allow for pubs and restaurants to operate a takeaway for a temporary period as part of the coronavirus response.
Parks and Green Spaces are open.
- Please check with your Town or Parish Council regarding the status of the play facilities managed by them.
Batchwood and Abbey View golf course have reopened.
The Toddlers Splash Park in Verulamium Park remains closed
Following the Government's announcement we are making the following changes to the Councils Cemeteries Services;
- Hatfield Road and London Road Cemeteries in St Albans and Westfield Road Cemetery in Harpenden have now reopened.
- The Chapel at Hatfield Road is closed
- The cemeteries office is closed to visitors
- Graveside services are still permitted but will be limited to 30 minutes per service and no more than 5 mourners
Our Business Support Services page has details and links to resources for businesses, employers and employees.
We know that losing your job can be a stressful and challenging time. This page contains useful information for those who have found themselves unemployed or facing redundancy to signpost you to support with your health, wellbeing, finances and return to the workplace.
Working in the community
Supporting local communities during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak
To help those in need, St Albans and District Council is working with Communities 1st who have set up the Compassionate Community Connector programme for people who are healthy and at low risk to help others.
There are a range of volunteer roles on offer from dog walking and befriending through to call handling and back office functions.
If you would like to offer support to someone in your community, you can sign up to the programme using the online form: www.communities1st.org.uk/COVID-19-community-signup or by phone 020 3940 4865 between 1pm – 3pm, Monday to Friday. There is a range of volunteer roles
If you need help and support and are self-isolating
If you need help (shopping, dog walking/pet hosting, telephone tech support for online shopping or using skype/facetime etc) whilst isolated, you or someone on your behalf) can complete an online form at www.communities1st.org.uk/covid19support or call Communities 1st on 020 8207 5115 or email email@example.com
You will then be either matched with one of the Compassionate Community Connector volunteers, offered support immediately or signposted/referred on to a local voluntary/community organisation.
Supporting the Voluntary/Community Sector
St Albans District Council and Communities 1st are also looking to provide support to the local voluntary and community sector organisations who provide essential services to our residents.
- Can your organisation be contacted by local residents needing help?
- Can your organisation make use of additional volunteers?
- Can Communities 1st signpost people to your organisation?
Voluntary sector organisations who need help or can offer support, please complete the form at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KHFFL88
If a group or local organisation would like to discuss anything, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Communities 1st on 01727 743018
NOTE: The Compassionate Community Connectors scheme is running across St Albans, Hertsmere, Welwyn/Hatfield, Broxbourne, East Herts. Communities 1st is working in conjunction with Broxbourne and East Herts and Welwyn Hatfield Volunteer Centre.
Elections, meeting and events
The government has postponed all elections that were due to take place on 7 May 2020.
The Council is currently assessing which council meetings are essential and how best to run those that are. The safety of councillors, staff and attending residents is paramount. Officers will be encouraged to take part remotely where possible and public attendance will be limited according to space, allowing for safe separation between individuals. Meetings will be streamed online where possible.
Events held by St Albans District Council will be cancelled or postponed.
Details to follow.
In line with national guidance, tomorrow's market is not cancelled but will be significantly reduced. we are only allowing produce traders to attend (no hot food or other goods). We will be creating gaps of at least 3 meters between stalls and will have staff in place to marshal queues if required.
COVID-19 - Coronavirus Information
Where to find the latest Government information and guidance Toggle accordion
Hertfordshire local outbreak plan Toggle accordion
Frequently asked questions (advice from Herts County Council) Toggle accordion
Want to offer help for those in need? Toggle accordion
Leaflet showing a range of local help schemes on offer across the District, and how to contact them:
Benefits and financial advice for people affected by Coronavirus Toggle accordion
Measures to protect people at highest risk from coronavirus Toggle accordion
Advice from Public Health England (including on health and mental wellbeing) Toggle accordion
Community Support Groups Toggle accordion
Advice for gypsy, traveller and liveaboard boater communities Toggle accordion
Coronavirus job retention scheme Toggle accordion
Spotting scammers Toggle accordion
Compassionate Community Connector Programme Toggle accordion
Email or call us with your shopping list, and we’ll arrange for someone to do this shopping and one of our staff or trusted volunteers will deliver it to your door.
Telephone Tech Support?
Want to video chat with your family through Skype or Facetime? Need to know how to set up online shopping orders? Call our friendly phone tech support volunteers to help you gain confidence with your tech.
Feeling lonely or isolated at this difficult time?
Let us know and we’ll arrange for someone to give you a call.
Can’t get out? or need to go into hospital? Need someone to look after your pet?
Let us know and we’ll see what we can arrange.
Would you like to receive a message from a child home from school who would like to exchange postcards/letters?
Get in contact
If you wish to download a poster, you can so here:
Harpenden Cares Toggle accordion
Harpenden Cares is a community led initiative, supported by Harpenden Town Council, to help support our community in these unprecedented times. There are four main parts to the Harpenden Cares initiative:
- Befriending support – to avoid vulnerable people feeling isolated and ensure we are aware of any emergency support that they require;
- Essential supplies - to deliver essential supplies of food and medication to vulnerable people;
- Street level support - to support and encourage street level coordinators;
- General advice and guidance - to share appropriate solid advice through an official trusted channel.
Further information about Harpenden Cares is available at https://harpendencares.org/.
Other organisations offering help Toggle accordion
Hertfordshire Independent Living Service:
They provide a range of services to help older and vulnerable people stay healthy and independent.
Age UK Herts:
St Albans and District Foodbank:
Mind in Mid-Herts:
Carers in Herts:
Herts Young Homeless:
London Colney Good Neighbourhood Scheme:
Monday or Friday 10am – 1pm.
Redbourn Care Group:
Support For All:
Find a food bank Toggle accordion
We know it’s a challenging time for everyone at the moment as the coronavirus pandemic unfolds.
Food banks are grassroots, community organisations aimed at supporting people who cannot afford the essentials in life.
If you cannot afford food, please contact your local food bank using the button below.
Looking after your mental health and wellbeing during Coronavirus Toggle accordion
Information for Adults
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting all our lives and social distancing and self-isolation can be really hard to deal with. It’s normal to feel anxious, frustrated or bored, and if you’re worried about the effect it will have on your mental health, you are not alone. The following organisations are delivering services that can help you to look after your mental health and well-being during this time.
Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust (HPFT) Mental Health Services
The Wellbeing Service offers short term support to people with mild to moderate mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Please visit: https://www.northessexiapt.nhs.uk/hertfordshire for more information about the service
HPFT remains open, for more information or to make a referral for services please contact the Single Point of Access (SPA) number (8am - 7pm): 0300 777 0707
Herts Mind Network deliver a number of services including peer support, domestic abuse services, complex needs outreach services, dementia and carers support as well as a range of online services including Meeting Places and Wellbeing Courses. There are a number of sessions including ‘Coronavirus and your Wellbeing’ and ‘Overcoming Anxiety and Fear’.
You can contact them on 0203 727 3600 where your call will be triaged and directed to the most appropriate service or find out more on the website: www.hertsmindnetwork.org
Mind in Mid-Herts deliver a range of services to support individuals who are suffering or who have suffered from mental and emotional distress. Emotional support is available on the telephone during the covid-19 pandemic on 03303 208100 and you can find out more about online social groups and living well courses including ‘Feeling Well’ to reduce feelings of depression and sadness and ‘Learning to Relax’ and ‘Building Courage’ to cope with anxiety on the website www.mindinmidherts.org.uk
Viewpoint is a user involvement charity in Hertfordshire for people with mental health or drug and alcohol problems. For more information on social activities and programmes please see their website www.hertsviewpoint.co.uk or you can also find out more by visiting the Viewpoint Facebook page.
Guideposts is a mental health and wellbeing charity that deliver services including befriending, carer support and support for people on the autism spectrum. For more information please visit https://guideposts.org.uk/hertfordshire-services/ or call 01923 223554.
Other local support
Drug and Alcohol services
You can contact Change Grow Live (CGL) Drug and Alcohol Recovery Services from 09:00-19:00 by phoning them on 0800 652 3169 or emailing Herts@cgl.org.uk. CGL recovery workers are offering support over the phone.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse or worried about someone else who might be you can contact Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline: 08 088 088 088 (freephone Mon-Fri 9am-9pm, Sat/Sun 9am-4pm) or visit the website for more information: www.hertssunflower.org
If you are in immediate danger always dial 999
Information for people on the autism spectrum
If you’re a person on the spectrum this will be a difficult time for you. There are a range of resources to support you through this time, you can find the latest guidance on coronavirus and useful information on the following websites:
National Autistic Society: https://www.autism.org.uk/
We appreciate that caring for someone else may be particularly stressful at this time.
There is advice for carers from Hertfordshire County Council at https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/adult-social-services/carers/carers.aspx and updates on service changes that may affect the person you are caring for at https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/about-the-council/news/coronavirus-service-updates.aspx#DynamicJumpMenuManager_2_Anchor_5
Carers in Herts have up to date information, advice and resources on their website at https://www.carersinherts.org.uk/ and they can be contacted on 01992 586969 or by email on email@example.com
In normal circumstances, bereavement can be a lonely and isolating experience, and these feelings can be made worse by the impact of self-isolation and social distancing measures which are currently in place.
Cruse Bereavement Care Hertfordshire provide telephone support to bereaved people via a telephone helpline. You can access support on 01707 278389 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. For helpful resources see the Cruse website: www.cruse.org.uk/coronavirus
InTouch is a countywide emotional support line for older people, open Monday to Friday 9am – 4:30pm. Tel: 01992 629 358 OR 01992 634 964 OR 07538 954 189
Apps / National websites
There are a number of apps and national website to support your mental health and wellbeing.
Mind - www.mind.org.uk
Samaritans - https://www.samaritans.org/
Sane - http://www.sane.org.uk/ - out of hours helpline Tel: 0300 304 7000 from 4.30pm - 10.30pm every day
Alcohol Heath Alliance uk - in order to support those in recovery at this difficult time, the Alcohol Health Alliance has put together a list of resources which may be useful. https://ahauk.org/recovery-during-coronavirus/
NHS Mental Health apps library: https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/category/mental-health/
Public Health England’s Every Mind Matters service has launched a new suite of tips and advice, focussed on looking after people’s mental wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Resources include a tailored COVID-19 Mind Plan, content for individuals and their loved ones on managing their mental wellbeing during the outbreak, and support for specific mental health issues such as anxiety, stress, low mood and trouble sleeping.
For more information visit: www.everymindmatters.co.uk
Already working with a service?
Most organisations have made changes in the way in which services are delivered to ensure that you can still access support when you need it. If you are currently receiving support from a service or have been recently discharged, you can contact the service if you are struggling with your mental health. Most have a duty line and a website where you can find out how to continue accessing services.
If you are already using HPFT services and need help, please contact:
Your care co-ordinator on the number provided to you or if you need help in the evening, weekend or bank holiday call our Out of Hours Helpline Tel: 01438 843322
Need help now?
If you need help in a mental health crisis
Call our Single Point of Access (SPA) Tel: 0300 777 0707 from 8am - 7pm
Alternatively, call the Out of Hours Helpline Tel: 01438 843322
Herts Mind Network – Mental health helpline
Anyone experiencing mental health distress can call the Crisis Helpline for emotional support and signposting. You also can call if your mental health is impacted by the current Coronavirus outbreak. Available to provide emotional support 24 hours a day, every day of the week. To contact the helpline please call us on 01923 256391
Information above was Updated on 21/04/2020
The below document will be updated by the Mental Health Commissioning Team