Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Colchester Borough Council is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to take action to minimise disruption and keep residents and visitors safe.

Coronavirus: updates, advice and guidance

Our response

We are monitoring government advice daily so that our services are prepared, and our staff and the public have the very latest information and support.   

Our business continuity plans already prioritise essential services and our Senior Management Team are meeting regularly to ensure that resources are focused on maintaining services for those in most need. 

Steps we have already taken include closing our public buildings, relocating valuable resources, and asking staff to work from home where possible. These steps help to protect staff and front line services. 

Keeping you informed 

We are working closely with Essex County Council, local partners, volunteer and community organisations to coordinate services and support to residents, businesses and communities. You can read the latest updates from Essex County Council on their website.

This section of our website is dedicated to bringing important and useful information together and is updated with the latest information so please check back regularly. To find out which of our services, events and buildings have been affected, check the summary of service changes for all recent changes. 

Our business customers can find information on changes to any business services, as well as access key information on financial support from central and local government in our Support for businesses section

For help and support in our communities including our local support map, take a look at our Support for communities section. 

You can also check the latest press releases from us on COVID-19 in our Support for residents section or follow us on facebook and twitter.  

Staying safe online 

We may send you emails or text messages with important information or to ask you to contact us. We know that there has been a heightened risk of scam attempts during the crisis.  

Websites selling fake products  

During this time, be aware of fake websites and suspicious links. 

Criminals will advertise products they know to be in short supply, such as hand sanitiser, face masks and treatments. 

Fake coronavirus (COVID-19) testing/treatment kits are been produced and sold worldwide. These kits contain harmful chemicals and police are warning anyone who had bought one of these kits not to use it. If you see something suspicious, report it to Action Fraud, quoting “Trinity CV19 treatment kits”. 

Look out for:  

  • Claims like ‘100% safe’, ‘No side effects’ and ‘Quick results’. Do not trust these statements. 
  • Requests for payment via direct bank transfer. Only buy from reputable companies you know and trust.  

Fake emails (Phishing) 

Phishing emails try to encourage you to provide sensitive personal or financial information. They may appear to be coronavirus (COVID-19) tax refunds, reimbursements from travel bookings and donation requests. 

Emails from reputable companies will never ask you to give information such as passwords, personal security information, or bank details/PIN numbers via email. 

Fraudsters will try to make you click on links that aren’t safe. If in doubt, then don’t click. Do not open any attachments from senders that you don’t know. 

Look out for:  

  • The sender’s email. Phishing email addresses will sometimes include numbers or extra underscores. They may appear to have come from someone’s Hotmail account. If you are unsure of the authenticity check online for the company’s contact details and compare. 

Text messages 

Like emails, fraudsters may try to text you to persuade you to give out personal information. They may pretend to be from the government or from your GP.  

If you do not recognise the number do not respond. Do not open links within the text message. You can block the number on your phone and the texts will no longer reach you. 

You can verify a company’s contact details from their website or from old correspondence. 

Cold callers 

Don’t be afraid to challenge cold callers. Hang up if you can’t verify the caller and block their number. 

Banks, police or other trusted organisations will never ask for security information, so never give out personal details. 

You can find out more about possible scams on the Government’s website.  

Data protection during the coronavirus outbreak 

This privacy notice explains how Colchester Borough Council (as a Data Controller) will collect, use and protect personal data specifically regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. 

How the Council will deal with your data during the Covid-19 pandemic 

Page last reviewed: 20 March 2020

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