National lockdown rules apply in Harlow. You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You can now access community testing in Harlow to find out if you might have the virus without symptoms.




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 5 January 2021, Harlow and the rest of England are in a national lockdown. This means that you must not leave or be outside of your home except where necessary. You can find information about what you can and cannot do 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 remains closed. 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 remains closed to the public, but access for businesses based in the centre will remain. 

Leah Manning is closed from 20 December 2020 due to Tier 4 restrictions.

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.

Harlow Museum and Walled Gardens are closed from 4 January 2021 due to coronavirus restrictions.

The Town Park car parks are currently closed - but all other 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 4 January 2020 due to coronavirus restrictions. 

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 is closed from 20 December 2020 due to Tier 4 restrictions. Animals will continue to be exercised in the outside paddocks in The Showground. 

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

Playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, multi-use games areas, skate park and town park outdoor gym are closed from 16 January 2021 due to increasing rates of coronavirus. 

The Playhouse is closed from 20 December 2020 due to Tier 4 restrictions. For the latest information check the Playhouse website

Sam's Place is closed from 20 December 2020 due to Tier 4 restrictions.

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

The car parks are currently shut, but the public toilets by Pets' Corner are open.

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

We ask all visitors to respect the current government guidelines for open spaces.

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