We are working with the government, NHS and other partners to keep people safe. Protecting the health and wellbeing of our residents will always be the council’s priority

You can:

  • visit the NHS website for information on symptoms and how to avoid catching the virus
  • keep up to date with government advice on GOV.UK

Current restrictions

From Thursday 5 November 2020, Harlow will be in a national lockdown. You can find information on the new restrictions and what they mean for residents and businesses on GOV.UK

Report a coronavirus concern

If you are concerned that a business in Harlow is not following government guidelines, you can report this to us by email

Changes to services

We are continuing to provide services during the coronavirus pandemic that our residents and businesses need. Below is a list of services and how they are being affected. Most services are running as normal, but with the majority of staff working from home, there might be a longer delay than usual when contacting our teams.

You can see how Essex County Council services in Harlow are affected (like schools, libraries and adult social care) on the Essex County Council website 

Staff continue to process benefit claims. See our page on getting help with housing and rent

Civic Centre

The Civic Centre will close from Thursday 5 November. You are still able to contact us by phone on 01279 446655 and access many services online, like ordering a new bin or reporting litter.

We have complied with the government's guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19 and have published our COVID-19 Secure poster (pdf) and our COVID-19 risk assessment (pdf)

If you need help with something that is not available online, you can also contact us

All council meetings will be held virtually and streamed live on the council’s YouTube channel until further notice. Residents can still participate in meetings and ask questions. You can read the procedures for these meetings

You need to continue to pay your Council Tax as normal, but if you’re having difficulties, see our page on Council Tax Support

Local councillors continue to support residents with enquiries and carry out casework. Councillors can be contacted by phone or email. You can view full contact information for councillors

The main reception will close to the public from 5 November, but access for businesses based in the centre will remain. 

Leah Manning remains closed until further notice. Staff continue to contact clients regularly to ensure their welfare and other support and drop off essential items.

Our priority will be to ensure that existing licence holders can continue to operate, where possible. For all enquiries email the licensing team and we will aim to respond to you within 5 working days. 

The issuing of taxi licences is continuing through the introduction of a new remote working system.

The Walled Gardens are open, but the inside of Harlow Museum is currently closed until further notice.

During lockdown the Walled Gardens will continue to be open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm - last entry at 3.30pm.

There is space for people to sit and bring refreshments and dogs are welcome on leads. Toilets are open. 

Whilst the inside of the museum is shut, we are working on a new project living through lockdown which you can be a part of.

All council car parks remain open and charges still apply. Parking patrols are still being carried out by the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP). Updates from the partnership can be found on the NEPP website.

It will still be free to park for up to 1 hour in the neighbourhood shopping car parks at Bush Fair, The Stow and Old Harlow and free all day at the weekends and after 5pm.

It will also still be free parking for up to 1 hour in the car parks in the Town Park, River Way and Burnt Mill Lock and free parking in these car parks for up to 2 hours at the weekends.

Parndon Wood is closed from 5 November 2020. For the latest information see the ECCO Parndon Wood website


You need to continue to pay your council bills. Whilst we are closed, you can make payments online. 

This includes:

  • Council Tax
  • housing and garage rents
  • business rates
  • service charges
  • contents insurance
  • benefit overpayments

You can also pay using the 24 hour, automated telephone payments line 01279 446600

Direct debits or standing orders can be set up. Rent can also be paid by a payment or post office card at a local payment point or post office. There is help and support available to residents who genuinely cannot pay bills at this time.

Pets' Corner will be closed from 5 November 2020. Staff will continue to care and look after the animals. Those visiting the park for exercise will still be able to see the animals in The Showground paddocks. 

Planning officers continue to determine planning applications as normal and the council’s planning committee is taking place virtually.

Playgrounds remain open during lockdown but must be used in line with the latest government guidelines. The tennis courts, basketball courts, multi-use games areas, skate park and town park outdoor gym will all close temporarily from 5 November 2020 and should not be used by the public during lockdown. 

The Playhouse is closed from 5 November 2020. For the latest information check the Playhouse website

During its closure, the staff have developed a digital programme through its Facebook page to keep residents entertained. 

Sam’s Place remains open and is currently unaffected by the restrictions.

The Town Park remains open for all to enjoy and has been open during the outbreak.

The car parks are open, as are the public toilets by Pets' Corner

Spurriers Café is open for takeaway, 7 days a week.

We ask all visitors to respect the current government guidelines for open spaces, such as 2m social distancing and remaining in groups of no more than 6 people - with 160 acres we have plenty of room!

You can read our coronavirus privacy notice for information on how we will use your data during this pandemic.