Date issued: 17 March 2020
All of Colchester Borough Council’s buildings are to be closed to the public in light of the Government’s advice as part of the steps it is taking to combat the spread of COVID-19.
From Thursday all Leisure World sites, Charter Hall, Town Hall, Colchester Castle, Hollytrees Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Visitor Information Centre and High Woods Country Park Visitor Centre will be closed to the public for the foreseeable future. They will all be open as usual tomorrow (Wednesday).
This decision follows the advice from the Government on mass gatherings and around self-isolation which will have an impact on the levels of council employees available to staff the venues.
Anyone who has purchased a ticket or place for any of the classes, events or shows at these venues will be contacted over the next few days and offered a refund or the opportunity to attend any events or shows being rescheduled. Membership charges for Leisure World will be frozen during this period
While the Castle and museums will be closed to the general public, they will still accommodate any planned educational visits behind closed doors while the schools remain open.
Colchester Borough Homes’ Greenstead Housing Office will be closed from tomorrow (Wednesday) with tenants asked to call 01206 282514 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice and assistance.
The council will be reviewing these closures on at least a weekly basis and will look to reopen them as soon as possible within Government guidelines regarding COVID-19.
Other public spaces and parks are open as usual and all other council services such as the Community Hub and waste and recycling service are currently being maintained.
Leader of Colchester Borough Council, Cllr Mark Cory, said: “This is not a step we have taken lightly as we know the impact this will have on residents and visitors to the borough – but this is a time when we have to do what we can to stop the spread of this virus.
“We will continually review the situation in the light of Government advice and guidelines. We are keeping our parks open as this will help support the Government’s advice for people to exercise while observing the need for keeping a suitable distance from each other.
“I know for those who have booked to see events, take part in exercise classes or visit our wonderful heritage that this is disappointing news – but I hope people can understand why we have taken this decision.”