Coronavirus: view the status of our services

We are providing information for residents, businesses, and communities which we will review and update regularly. View the latest updates, advice and guidance.

Summary of service changes

Recycling and rubbish 

  • Rubbish and recycling collections will return to normal, except textiles which are suspended until further notice.
  • Check your 2020/21 Recycling Calendar for your collection schedule.
  • Clinical waste, assisted collections, existing rubbish limit exemptions, litter bin and dog waste bin emptying is continuing.
  • Fly-tipping investigations will continue where possible.
  • The Saturday Household Drop-Off Service that was due to start 18 April is cancelled until further notice.
Please see our dedicated rubbish and recycling pages for more information.


  • All site visits are currently suspended.
  • Site notices will be issued via email for applicants/agents to print and post prominently in a publicly accessible position.
  • Hard copies of Local Plan and other planning documents are currently unavailable however digital copies are available.
  • Our planning enforcement action will be mitigated by new national guidelines intended to avoid closures of pubs and restaurants, disruption to food and other essential goods distribution as well as to residents of caravan parks and sites.
  • All correspondence and enforcement complaint supporting evidence to be emailed to
Please see our dedicated planning pages for more information.

Building Control 

  • All staff are working remotely from home and will continue to deal with your applications, emails, telephone calls, pre application consultations and general enquiries in the usual way.
  • Physical site inspections will be predominantly undertaken in the external air.
  • Where site inspections are carried out virtually (generally for internal works), we will be asking you to provide suitable photographic evidence and/or filmed evidence, live video streaming..

Please see our dedicated Building Control pages for more information.

Bereavement services 

  • Following an update to government coronavirus legislation, the cemetery is open to visitors.
  • Cremation and burial services are still taking place with restrictions. 
  • Although the law says you can have up to 30 people at a funeral, families should restrict attendance in the crematorium chapel to a maximum of 20 people to allow for 2 metres social distancing.
  • A maximum of 6 people may attend an ashes burial or wake.
  • A face covering must be worn by all family and friends attending a funeral in Colchester Crematorium chapel, all funeral directors’ staff, and all ministers and celebrants.
  • Singing will not be allowed in the crematorium chapel.
  • Prayer Room at Colchester Cemetery and Crematorium is closed.  
  • The Book of Remembrance Room has re-opened on weekdays only, between 9.30am and 4.15pm. Covid security measures are in place.
  • The scattering or burial of ashes is postponed until further notice. 
  • Staff will seat groups at respectful distances from each other inside the chapel, keeping people 2 meters apart.
  • Stringent cleaning measures are in place.
Please see our latest information for more advice and guidance. 

Colchester Charter Market 

  • Colchester Market is trading essential items only.
  • Find more information at Colchester Market
  • We ask that all residents and visitors continue to follow social distancing advice when shopping locally.
  • If you are unable to visit the town centre, many of our traders have adapted to online selling or delivery services. Follow @ColchMarket on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates and information.

Council buildings and meetings 

  • All council buildings have been closed to the public.

Environmental Protection 

  • Our Pest Control service is operating; however, bedbug treatments are currently unavailable. Advice can be given on the self-treatment if required.
  • We are currently not offering a microchipping service for dogs or cats.
  • You can still report an environmental issue however we are currently not carrying out visits where we need to enter a person’s home.
  • You can continue to report environmental and noise concerns. However, the Weekend Noise Service is suspended.
Please see our dedicated advice page for more information. 

Private Sector Housing 

  • Your landlord still has a duty to comply with legal obligations to ensure that your property safe. They should continue to undertake routine checks.
  • New legislation has changed the way your landlord can end a tenancy during this period. The standard notice to quit timeframe has changed to 90 days, starting on 27 March 2020.
  • The legislation has also introduced a suspension of 90 days from 27 March 2020 on possession hearings.
  • Our Private Sector Housing Enforcement and Civil Penalties Policy sets out our approach to the enforcement of housing standards. 
Please see our dedicated advice page for more information. 

Public Sector Housing 

  • Visits to residents' homes for enforcement purposes have been suspended.
  • Visits to Houses of Multiple Occupancy have also been suspended, including for the purpose of processing applications for HMO licenses.
  • You can still contact our team if you have complaints about the condition of your property and we will try to support you.

Leisure and recreation  

  • Leisure World Colchester, High Woods and Tiptree are closed.
  • Aqua Springs Spa and Beauty Therapy Treatments are closed.
  • All council parks and open spaces remain open to the public – abide by the government's social distance guidance.
  • High Woods Country Park Visitor Centre is closed. Health Walks are not running until further notice. Fishing is permitted as exercise provided you adhere the all other guidance.
  • Castle Park has restricted opening hours.
  • Outdoor gyms, skateparks and sports courts are closed.
  • Most playgrounds remain open. Upper Castle Park playground is closed.
  • Beach Huts in West Mersea are open, however users must comply with the Government’s guidelines and social distancing rules to protect themselves and others from the spread of coronavirus.
  • Colchester allotment sites are open for tenants. Visit the National Allotment Society website for updates and FAQs about allotments during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Colchester and Friends Events (CAFE) sessions have been cancelled.
  • Public toilets are open.

Grass cutting and grounds maintenance

  • Our grass cutting and ground maintenance services have been limited.
  • We are prioritising large open spaces, countryside areas and sports grounds to ensure everyone can continue to enjoy these spaces during daily exercise. 
  • We are maintaining highway verges for health and safety reasons. 

Museums and attractions 

  • Hollytrees Museum, Colchester Castle and the Natural History Museum are closed. Check out our fun #MuseumFromHome activities for ideas and things to do.
  • Colchester's Visitor Information Centre is also closed.
  • Onsite volunteering has been stopped however you can register online to help with our Museums From Home project.

Business services 

Please see our dedicated pages for more information on how we are supporting businesses.

Essex library service 

For information about libraries, visit the Essex County Council website.


For updates, visit the North Essex Parking Partnership’s Coronavirus Updates webpage.

Colchester Events Company

Some events have been postponed until further notice.

Visit  Colchester Events for more information.


Weddings cannot take place in Colchester unless in extraordinary circumstances and upon request from Essex County Council.

Page last reviewed: 5 January 2021


Subscribe to receive updates from Colchester Borough Council on a range of topics, including borough news, election updates, committee information and much more.