Coronavirus: Camden responds to COVID-19 pandemic
Here you can find daily key announcements from Camden Council in response to the coronavirus crisis. For more information and guidance, head to our coronavirus webpage or call our dedicated coronavirus helpline on 020 7974 4444 and select option 9.
Friday 3 April
Residents urged to follow guidance in parks and open spaces over weekend
With warmer weather forecast over the weekend, residents are reminded to follow government guidance to keep everyone safe. Parks and open spaces should be used for exercise only (a maximum of once per day) and avoided if busy. Residents are asked to exercise locally and avoid travelling to places outside of their immediate area such as Regents Park and Hampstead Heath.
When out, always maintain a 2 metre distance from others around you (unless they live with you). Parks and open spaces should not be used for picnics, sunbathing, sports or barbeques. Skate parks, playgrounds and outdoor gyms are closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
If you have access to your own garden please use that so those in homes without access to gardens can have space in our parks.
We know parks are essential for exercise and we want to keep them open. However, we will be monitoring the situation closely and will be forced to close them if advice isn’t followed.
Thursday 2 April
Protecting older and vulnerable residents
As a Council we are doing everything we can to support residents through this period of uncertainty, with robust plans in place to ensure all vital care services continue to run, especially care for older and vulnerable residents living in Camden.
"We know that for those who have care and support needs, or who care for someone who does, this is a very worrying and difficult time. When responding to this pandemic, our day to day aim is to ensure everyone gets the support they need, and no one is left behind – especially our most vulnerable residents." - Cllr Pat Callaghan, Cabinet Member for a Healthy Camden
Find out more about what support is available here
Camden’s continued support for businesses
The Council is striving to ensure that no businesses get left behind in Camden.
We know that many are worried about their ability to pay business rates or rent, and we ask anyone in this position to contact us, so we can further discuss how we can best assist you.
We have quickly identified how we could support local businesses, whilst also building an understanding of the recent Government announcements, what they mean for Camden businesses and what systems were needed to be put in place.
We have also written to all businesses who are eligible for support, providing them further information on the assistance available and how to apply for this.
So far we have paid 1,549 awards of the £25,000 business grant, totalling £38.75m.
We have awarded 100 percent rate relief to 4305 retail, leisure and hospitality properties, totalling £123m in rates.
We are in the process of collecting details from businesses eligible for both the £10,000 and £25,000 grants.
Head to our Coronavirus web pages to find out what we are doing to support businesses and how government support can be accessed. If you’re a business owner, please tell us how COVID-19 is affecting you and what support you need.
Wednesday 1 April
Support for young people
Many children and young people are now off school and spending time away from their friends, teachers and some family members which can be difficult. If you need help to stay happy and healthy during this time, take a look at our list of online resources.
Kooth also offers free, safe and confidential online wellbeing and mental health support for young people aged 11 to 18 - and it's now available in Camden. If you live in Camden, you can sign up now for confidential support through a text-based conversation with a qualified counsellor.
Tuesday 31 March
Construction work paused on major council investment projects
Delivering new homes, community spaces as well as safer and greener streets is a key long-term priority for Camden Council, however ensuring the health and wellbeing of our residents is our immediate concern. For this reason, we are working closely with our contractors to temporarily shut down construction sites.
Construction work for key council projects including our Community Investment Programme, West End Project and Town Hall refurbishment will be paused. Staff may still be seen as sites are made safe to close and security will continue to be present on sites while observing social distancing and current health advice.
You may also see other construction work continuing around the borough. This is because the current Government guidance for the construction industry is that works can continue. To help protect those who live and work in our borough we are calling on the Government to provide clarity for construction workers and offer assurances similar to those that have been put in place for other businesses.
Friday 27 March
Guidance for parks and open spaces
To keep everyone safe, residents are reminded to follow government guidance this weekend. This includes:
- Only exercise once per day
- Please exercise locally if you can and avoid travelling to a park outside of your immediate area. If you do go to a park and it’s busy please avoid the area.
- Always maintain a 2 metre distance from others around you (unless they live with you)
- Do not use parks for picnics, sunbathing, sports or barbeques
- Skate parks, playgrounds and outdoor gyms are closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
If you have your own garden please use that so those in homes without access to gardens can have space in our parks.
This is a national emergency and we need to change our behaviour to keep each other safe. We want to keep our parks open but are monitoring the situation and will be forced to close them if advice isn’t followed.
Thursday 26 March
Camden Council and Age UK Camden pilot emergency food delivery measures for vulnerable residents
Camden Council is set to pair up with Age UK Camden to pilot a delivery of emergency food packages as it looks to ensure that no-one goes hungry as a result of the coronavirus.
The service will deliver up to 600 food packages a week to Camden residents who are housebound and unable to purchase food. Residents will be able to get a food parcel if they are approaching a food crisis – meaning they have only two days’ worth, or less, of food at home.
The emergency package will contain milk, bread, butter, eggs, biscuits, tea, coffee, tinned food, cereal, toilet roll and soap, and will be available to residents, regardless of age. Camden residents meeting the criteria can get a food package by:
- A direct referral to the service from Age UK Camden or Camden Council
- By calling Age UK Camden on 0207 8373777
- By calling Camden Council on 020 7974 4444 (option 9)
Camden launches online directory to help residents access support from the local voluntary sector (VCS)
With so many Camden residents self-isolating due to COVID-19, we have launched an online directory to help residents find a local VCS organisation who can help them with everyday tasks they’re struggling to do themselves.
Wednesday 25 March
Free school meals and support for children and families in Camden
Following the Government’s announcement that schools would close from Friday, 20 March, the Council has been putting plans in place to ensure additional support is available for children and families and all pupils that are entitled to will continue to receive free school meals.
Camden’s commitment to support businesses
The Council Leader and Cabinet Member for an Inclusive Economy have written to all businesses to express their support, and to thank them for all they are doing to help the community and their employees. They are also seeking their feedback on how COVID-19 is affecting them.
Danny Beales, Cabinet Member for Investing in Communities and an Inclusive Economy, Camden Council, said: “We don’t know exactly what the coming months will bring for businesses but our aim is to make sure no-one gets left behind in Camden. We know that many businesses will be worried about their ability to pay business rates or rent, and we’re urging anyone in this position to get in touch with us immediately.
“We also want to hear from all businesses about how COVID-19 has affected you and what support you might need in the weeks and months ahead so that we can lobby the government on your behalf. In the meantime, please continue to follow public health advice and ask your employees to do the same.”
Head to our Coronavirus web pages to find out what we are doing to support businesses, how government support can be accessed and to read the letter to businesses in full. If you’re a business owner, please tell us how COVID-19 is affecting you and what support you need.
Tuesday 24 March
Supporting victims of domestic violence
As residents are being asked to stay at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Council is continuing to support victims, survivors and families of domestic abuse who may be at greater risk and feel more anxious during this time.
Government advice update
It is vital that we all remain within our homes and reduce social contact as much as possible to protect our own health, and particularly the health of the most vulnerable in our community.
Government advice is that you should only leave your home for the following reasons:
- shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
- one form of exercise a day - for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
- any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home
We can prevent the spread of this virus if we work together. Staying at home will save lives.
Monday 23 March
Changes to parking restrictions
To support residents throughout this difficult time and provide key workers with what they need to keep essential services running smoothly, the council has introduced a number of changes to how parking and traffic is managed across Camden.
The council is working closely with NHS trusts, GP surgeries, the emergency services and schools to identify the need for extra parking and to provide what we can to help key workers get to and from work safely. Furthermore non-essential parking suspensions across the borough are being cancelled to free up highway space and vechicles will not be removed during this period unless dangerous or obstructively parked.
You can read more on the actions being taken and get in touch about parking at COVID-19 - Changes to parking restrictions in Camden
Sunday 22 March
Camden parks update
Camden parks are currently remaining open as a way for us all to improve our physical and mental wellbeing.
However this is a critical situation and we will not hesitate to close our parks if people do not follow Government advice to keep a safe distance from each other.
It is important that whenever you are outside you maintain a 2 metre distance between yourselves and others, even when in parks and open spaces.
This is a national emergency and we all need to change our behaviour to keep each other safe. Play areas, cafés, tennis courts will be closed, but toilets will remain open so people can wash their hands.
Please visit our website camden.gov.uk/coronavirus for more advice.
Saturday 21 March
Camden library closures
All Camden libraries have been closed until further notice.
More information is available here.
Friday 20 March
The government has agreed measures with energy providers to support vulnerable people through COVID-19. Proposals will make sure vulnerable customers who may fall into debt remain supplied with energy while in self-isolation.
More information is available here
Thursday 19 March
Camden's commitment to people who are homeless
Camden Council has been developing emergency services to ensure that homeless people and people rough sleeping receive the highest possible protection and support amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Majority of Council meetings cancelled
The vast majority of Council meetings have been cancelled or postponed because of the Coronavirus situation. The Council is at this time focussing on the delivery of frontline services and the response to coronavirus. For further details please see meetings webpage. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the temporary cessation of public meetings and if you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact us.
Wednesday 18 March
Camden outlines plan for schools following closure announcement
The Government has announced that schools across England will close for most pupils until further notice from Friday 20 March and we are working with schools to prepare for this.
Tuesday 17 March
Council sets up official register of volunteers to help those most vulnerable
Camden Council are calling on the borough’s strong community spirit to find people who can support those who are most at risk from the coronavirus pandemic and others who are struggling and might need help. Alongside voluntary sector partners, the Council will use this information to coordinate residents’ pledges of support, making sure everyone receives the help they need.
Monday 16 March
Council Leader Georgia Gould’s message to communities
In a message to communities, Council Leader Georgia Gould outlined the Council’s five key pledges in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Alongside key partners we are:
- Keeping vital services running – even if they have to be delivered in a different way
- Ensuring no Council tenant loses their home because they are affected by COVID-19
- Ensuring that those who work for care providers don’t have to choose between their wage, their health and the health of those they support
- Helping to ensure everyone has access to food whether they are unwell, isolating or caring
- Supporting, encouraging and mobilising the huge community spirit which exists in Camden
“This is going to be a tough period and things will change every day – but we can get through it by thinking of each other with every action and taking care of our neighbours along with ourselves. Our communities make Camden – and will help us through this.” - Cllr Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council