Sign language videos with information about coronavirus are available on our sight and hearing loss page.
We understand that residents, local businesses and visitors to the borough may have concerns about coronavirus. We would like to reassure you that the government, council and NHS are well prepared to deal with this virus. The council also has support from many of its partners working in the borough.
We are monitoring the situation closely and working with Public Health England. We are taking all possible steps to keep you safe and ensure services continue to run smoothly.
Service closures and disruption
The vast majority of our services are being operated at the same level as normal, even though we have made significant changes to the way in which they are run. Most of our staff are working from home, but following national guidance, some of our staff are still working in the borough where their work cannot be done from home. These staff are doing their duties while following social distancing rules.
Key changes that have been made to our services in the past few days:
Volunteer or ask for help
Get practical help if you need it, or volunteer to help
We have teamed up with many great community organisations in our borough to get practical help out to those that need it during this difficult time. A bit of shopping, emergency food and supplies, picking up medication, or a friendly phone call. They can all be arranged through BD CAN, our new Citizens’ Alliance Network.
If you, or someone you know, need help please get in touch to let us know what help you need.
If you want to volunteer your time to help vulnerable people around your community, find out how to register your interest.
If you have been contacted by the NHS because you are at higher risk
We are working with local community organisations and the NHS to get extra help to those that are at much higher risk because of their health conditions, or because they are already getting social care support in the community.
If you have received a letter from the NHS, or are getting social care help (whether through the council or not), then you have a special number to contact to get practical help, food supplies or social support. Find out more about our Specialist support for extremely vulnerable people.
Advice on financial support
For help with claiming benefits, statutory sick pay (SSP) and employment and support allowance (ESA) and for information and advice on evictions, living costs and emergency help with money and food during coronavirus, please visit our Financial support and advice page:
Emergency staff and frontline workers helping vulnerable people can now apply to park for free in council-owned car parks and parking bays across Barking and Dagenham during the coronavirus pandemic.
Residents will also be able to park for 30 mins in CPZ zones without a permit, so they can drop off essential items outside loved ones’ doors, while socially distancing.
Visit our parking pages for additional information regarding changes to parking in Barking and Dagenham at this extraordinary time.
Staying at home
We apologise for any inconvenience caused with these disruptions but we urge all of our residents to follow the latest government advice by staying at home and:
- only going outside for food, health reasons or essential work
- staying 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
- washing your hands as soon as you get home
- observing social distancing rules in our parks
- not gathering in groups of more than 2 people, other than families together)
For further government advice and information on coronavirus, please visit the GOV.UK website.
Keeping safe from fire in your flat
Despite the difficult situation with coronavirus, we’re continuing to do everything we can to keep people who live in council buildings safe.
We’re continuing with our ongoing programme to test all fire safety systems, to make sure that all emergency exit routes are protected and kept free of obstructions and any combustible material.
You can help us to keep you and your neighbours safe by making sure that you, or any visitors, don’t:
- store personal items in the communal areas of the block
- smoke in the communal areas
- bring highly flammable items such as motorbikes, petrol cans, gas cylinders into communal areas
You should also regularly test your heat and smoke alarms and make sure that the hallways leading to your front doors are clear of obstructions.
As the weather gets warmer, we’re also asking you not to have barbeques on your balcony at this time.
Parks and open spaces
We understand that the borough’s parks are vitally important for both physical and mental wellbeing. Therefore, our green spaces will remain open at this time.
However, the government’s social distancing guidelines now apply. This is a priority and not a choice. While you can currently still go for a walk or exercise outdoors, you must stay more than 2 metres (6 feet) from each other and not play team sports, not use playgrounds or outdoor gym equipment and not gather in groups of more than 2 people, other than families together.
We have taken the difficult decision to close Barking Park visitor centre and the Discovery Centre at Eastbrookend Country Park. Similarly, to support social distancing guidelines, Barking Park café is closed, and the boating and Splash Park facilities will not open at Easter.
All parks and open spaces car parks are now closed. This follows the government’s instruction on essential travel. Travelling by car to exercise is not a reason to travel.
For the latest information on changes to our park facilities and services, including opening times and social distancing, please check our updates page:
Advice for businesses
Please email email@example.com if you would like to be added to our Business Forum newsletter, which will include updates on the support available for businesses through the outbreak.
Information and advice
Visit the NHS for information about the virus and advice on what to do.
Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
If you have any concerns, please call NHS 111.