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Featured News
Covid-19/Coronavirus


5 November 2021

Find out more about the coronavirus vaccine rollout in Essex on this website, including details on local walk-in clinics, reassurances on vaccine safety for those that are pregnant, and the latest information on the booster vaccination campaign.

 
If you live in Essex and need help to book an appointment, phone 0344 2573 961 (open 10am to 4pm, local rate).

Our news emails continue to have the most recent local updates.


10 September 2021

The Covid-19 vaccination programme across Essex continues. More

If you’re aged 18 or over, then you’re eligible to receive the vaccine. Use the National Booking Service or call 119 for an appointment at a vaccination centre. Walk in clinics are also being operated and details are available for the West Essex area and the wider area (these are updated frequently; check these websites before travelling any long distances).

For those aged 16 and 17 more information is here.

If you live in Essex and need help to book an appointment, phone 0344 2573 961 (open 10am to 4pm, local rate).

Our news emails continue to have the most recent local updates.


2 July 2021

Vaccine coverage in Epping Forest
As of June 20th, across Epping Forest 71% of those aged 16 and over have had at least one jab.

Theydon Bois and Abridge was the area with the highest coverage for at least one jab for those aged 16 and over, with 76%, and Chigwell was the highest for 2 jabs, with 54%.

For the Loughton areas, the data for those aged 16 and over is:
 
Area % first jab % both jabs
Loughton west  73%    43%
Loughton north  71% 42%
Loughton south  68%  39%
Loughton east  64% 35%

Across all the Loughton area, of those over 70, over 90% have had at least one jab, and over 85% have had two jabs. More.

Local Infection Rates
Infection rates have started to rise again locally. The local data for Epping Forest is here, along with this interactive map.


11 June 2021

The Covid-19 vaccination programme across Essex is well underway with thousands of people vaccinated already (more local data). This is part of the biggest immunisation programme in NHS history. Information and support on the Covid vaccine for Essex is online including frequently asked questions on the vaccine. You can also watch this video discussing vaccine safety concerns.

You can check current eligibility then use the National Booking Service or call 119 for an appointment at a vaccination centre. Or contact your GP and make an appointment.

If you live in Essex and need help to book an appointment or if your 2nd dose of the vaccine is due within the next seven days and you still don’t have an appointment, phone 0344 2573 961 (open 10am to 4pm, local rate).

The country’s most vulnerable are also being offered their second COVID-19 vaccine earlier.



21 May 2021

Information and support on the Covid vaccine for Essex is online.

You can check current eligibility then use the National Booking Service or call 119 for an appointment at a vaccination centre. Or contact your GP and make an appointment.

If you live in Essex and need help to book an appointment you can phone 0344 2573 961 (open 10am to 4pm, local rate).

Our news emails continue to have the most recent local updates.



11 April 2021

More from the government
and advice from the NHS

Our news emails continue to have lots of information on what is happening locally and the support available in the community. Become a member and get these sent to your email inbox every 4 weeks.

Information and support on the Covid vaccine for Essex. including FAQs, Mythbusters, and details on the vaccination process is online.


13 February 2021

Since early January, the infection rates in Epping Forest district have fallen locally. However there is a delay between infection rates rising/falling, subsequent hospital admissions and, sadly, deaths. Since January 23rd, another 26 people in Epping Forest District have died. More local data. While the drop of infection rates is positive news, following the guidelines to keep infection rates down will remain important for some time to come to help control the spread of the virus.

For statistical purposes, Loughton is divided into four areas - you can see data for Loughton North, East, West, and South.

As a consequence of the rising infection rate, deaths are also rising locally. The data is here. In the District it is reported 223 people have died since the pandemic started, with 51 having died locally since December 1st.

More details can be found on this interactive map, and the Office for National Statistics also publish full national data



Vaccine Information for Essex

A new website is now live to offer information and support on the Covid-19 vaccine including FAQs, Mythbusters, and details on the vaccination process. Remember, the NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine.

People aged 70 and over who have not yet been vaccinated - but want one - can contact the NHS to arrange a jab. An appointment can be made online or by calling 119 free of charge.

Dr Mike Gogarty (Essex County Council’s Director of Public Health) has said that “at last we can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We can start to see a way that these deaths, this illness, these restrictions can stop and that is the availability of the vaccines. It's really important you understand the facts about the vaccines, you seek out the facts from legitimate good sites and any questions you have, you get a sensible clear answer to them.” Watch the full video.

There have been multiple reports of residents in Essex and Kent receiving fraudulent texts or emails offering the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is free and the NHS will never ask for your payment details. 



7 January 2021

We know that residents will be very worried given the surge in cases and the higher risk of catching the virus over the winter. We are doing our best to keep up with what is happening locally, so we can share the following local information and updates, Please remember that things can change, so do check directly with the organisation concerned if need be.

LRA remains your residents association and contactable, however please realise that we are all volunteers and are affected in the same way as you.

You can also follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook. You don't need to register or follow us for these - just click on the links.

We hope you all stay safe and take care during these difficult times.

Our news emails continue to have lots of information on what is happening locally and the support available in the community. Become a member and get these sent to your email inbox every 4 weeks.


How the virus is spreading locally

The infection rates in Epping Forest district are extremely high, relative to the rest of the country. The rate in the district is 1,410 per 100,000 residents. The rate for one part of Loughton is even higher at 1,704 per 100,000 residents.


For statistical purposes, Loughton is divided into four areas - you can see data for Loughton North, East, West, and South.

As a consequence of the rising infection rate, deaths are also rising locally. The data is here. In the District it is reported 223 people have died since the pandemic started, with 51 having died locally since December 1st.

More details can be found on this interactive map, and the Office for National Statistics also publish full national data

LRA comment: there is much data published on the internet, and it can be hard to follow and tell what is true or not true. For instance, stories such as the total number of deaths each week is no higher now than in earlier years is not true. Here's a useful guide on how to fact check claims as well as well as fact checks on specific covid stories you may have read.



18 December 2020

Latest data for Essex
In the seven days up to 10 December, there were 4,547 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Essex. More. For Epping Forest the case numbers have increased from 228.5 to 444.6 per 100,000 in the one week to December 10th.

You can read more local updates and the latest data for Essex, plus detailed data for cases and deaths for each district here



21 November 2020

The situation in Essex
  • In the seven days to November 12th, there were 2098 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Essex. More data
  • As of November 12th, the highest weekly case rates were in Brentwood and Epping Forest, with rates of 246.8 and 230.1, respectively (the number of cases recorded in the preceding seven days per 100,000 population). More data
  • As at 17 November there were 244 beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients in Essex hospital trusts. This equates to 8.9% of trust capacity and is 15% higher compared to bed occupancy one week previous (November 10th). More data
  • Work has now started to consider how the County Council, together with partner organisations, can facilitate the roll-out of mass tests across the county to protect our residents. You can find out more about rapid testing to be rolled out across England on GOV.UK.
Watch Dr Mike Gogarty, the Director for Public Health for Essex, County Council, explain more.



24 October 2020
The Situation in Essex

With the change to the alert level for Essex to High alert level (Tier 2), the Director for Public Health for Essex, Dr Mike Gogarty explains why the County Council has requested the change in this video (which starts at 9:21).

You can also read about the request to move to the High alert level and the data that informed the decision.

Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing and all the other Essex MPs have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak asking them to reconsider the need for financial support for local businesses that will be adversely affected by the change in the alert level. More.


Loughton Town Council - Office Closed

There has been a case of coronavirus among the Town Council staff identified. This means that the staff are self isolating and working from home, so the council office at Loughton Library was closed from Wednesday and is likely to remain so until early November.

You can still contact the council by calling 020 8508 4200 or emailing contact@loughton-tc.gov.uk


Cases in our District and Hospitals
Cases have been increasing in our district for several weeks. There are a corresponding increasing number of Covid-19 cases in Essex acute hospitals. Current data for in Essex is here


26 September 2020

Warning of high levels of Covid-19 in the Epping Forest District

Epping Forest district is consistently showing the highest levels of Covid-19 in Essex. Young people between 17 and 30 are the most common spreaders. Well-publicised instances have shown the breakdown in social distancing and other precautions. Older relatives of young people are being put at particular risk by careless or selfish behaviour. The District Council has issued a stark warning: “Change your behaviour or the virus will return”. More

Current data for each district in Essex is here. On the drop down menu at the top, you can select 'Epping Forest' for local data. The Office for National Statistics also provide local data by postcode however this only includes data to June 30th.

What residents have said

The District Council have set up an online service for residents to give their views on social distancing and safer spaces in the District. Residents have done so, and have commented on many other subjects too; find out more here. To give your views, see here.

District Council Support 
The District Council has further information and guidance here, plus support for residents and businesses.

Loughton Covid-19 Mutual Aid Group
This Loughton group connects neighbours to offer practical help during the pandemic, through Facebook and WhatsApp groups. More


Our news emails continue to have lots of information on what is happening locally and the support available in the community. Become a member and get these sent to email inbox every 4 weeks.


29 August 2020

With daily life continuing to be disrupted and difficult, our news emails continue to have lots of information on what is happening and the support available in the community.

Coronavirus Situation in Essex
The Essex Director of Public Health, Mike Gogarty, has said that the situation is Essex changes frequently and they, with Public Health England, are keeping a very close eye on trends.

The measured rate of new cases per week per 100,000 is Essex is around five and is around half the national rate. It varies quite a lot between and within districts over time.

Current data indicates for the first time a generalised increase in cases right across Essex. This is actually more of a concern than a discrete increase as it suggest a general increase in cases within the population rather than a discrete containable outbreak.


Current data for each district in Essex is here. On the drop down menu at the top, you can select 'Epping Forest' for local data. The Office for National Statistics also provide local data by postcode however this only includes data to June 30th.

Getting back to school
The County Council has said that getting to school will be a bit different this term. Whether your child travels by bus or wants to try cycling or walking, this website includes information on face coverings, walking and cycling routes, how to get cycling and changes that are happening to some bus services. 

Help your child get the best start to school by thinking about their journey now. More


4 July 2020

Problems in the Forest
LRA Cllr Chris Pond has followed up the concerns expressed by many residents concerned and upset by the recent misbehaviour of groups of people who have formed “Spontaneous Social Gatherings” (SSGs) in the Forest, including Baldwins Hill and the Shaftesbury dam. They have left large amounts of litter, particularly around High Beech, and have disregarded the distancing regulations and parking restrictions.

It has been difficult for the authorities to deal with these SSGs, though they have tried to do so. See comments from the Superintendent of Epping Forest and the police below.

Many public-spirited residents have been turning out to clear up the litter that’s left behind. Five lockable bright orange skips for rubbish have now been placed (temporarily) at High Beech; they will be emptied weekly.

Comments from Mr Paul Thomson, Superintendent of Epping Forest

Epping Forest has a long tradition of providing public access for recreation and enjoyment, resulting in 4.2 Million visits each year. Moreover, the Forest has always acted as a place of refuge and rejuvenation during challenging times.

During the COVID-19 restrictions, known colloquially as the ‘lockdown’, Epping Forest has again played an important place for people’s wellbeing. The Forest’s trustees have resisted the widespread closures of open spaces instituted by organisations such as the National Trust, Essex County Council and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and has continued to support public access during the 8 weeks of the lockdown period of 23 March – 13 May. Forest Keepers, whose duties include an attested constable role, have worked closely with Local Authorities and Policing partners to explain, educate and encourage the proper observance of the Coronavirus Regulations at Epping Forest. On Police advice, reflecting the great many unnecessary journeys being made by distant visitors to the Forest it was necessary to close the Forest car parks between 10 April and 14 May.

Partly in response to lack of opportunities elsewhere, Epping Forest has seen a substantial increase in visitors from both London Boroughs and surrounding Home Counties. Research by Google™ based on user location preferences suggests that visiting to parks, gardens and beaches has risen by 122-138%. Perhaps more significantly, many visitors have indicated that they have particularly sought Epping Forest’s wide expansive spaces where many feel they could best exercise safely while observing good social distancing. It is therefore likely that Epping Forest has experienced an increase in visiting well above the Google averages. Surveys by City staff are underway to understand this new pattern of visiting.

As the lockdown has eased, Spontaneous Social Gatherings (SSGs) and Unlicensed Music Events (UMEs) have become a new challenge for the Forest with often repeated SSGs at Chingford and Wood Green Golf Courses, Buckhurst Hill Cricket Ground, Bushwood and Capel Road - Wanstead Flats, Highams Park and Queens Green. SSGs are also gathering pace across London with major incidents at Mitcham, Clapham & Tooting Bec Commons together with London Fields across recent weekends. Most SSGs have no link to public house off-sales or TENs licences, as much of the alcohol fuelling the events has been brought to the site by participants. At Queens Green, the Kings Oak Hotel has been extremely responsible in restricting it’s off-sales to between 11am-7pm, often closing earlier, when the hotel’s licence potentially extends to 12midnight.

Wherever possible, a partnership of Essex Police, Metropolitan Police and Epping Forest Keepers are dispersing Epping Forest SSGs/UMEs when they are first reported by residents and visitors. Larger events such as Queens Green are managed by controls on parking capacity, through closures and the red line scheme, together with a high visibility Police presence to manage crowd behaviour. I am pleased to advise that up to 40 parking offences are being enforced each day in High Beach and that the Queens Green SSG. Our colleagues in the District Council have also worked to restrict food and alcohol deliveries to non-residential addresses by third-party delivery companies.

The City Corporation recognises there is a strong desire to restrict the damage being done to the Forest through littering, fouling and fires and to limit the Anti-Social Behaviour which is clearly a concern for many of the Forest’s residents and regular visitors, as well as Epping Forest’s trustees. The events at Queens Green can number up to 500 party goers and therefore the potential for enforcement against widespread contravention of the Health Protection Regulations, Public Order requirements and Byelaws needs to be balanced against the resources available to enforce.. The partners continue to review future options for the management of SSGs/UMEs and the spontaneous nature of the events is expected to diminish as the lockdown is further eased, especially with public houses reopening on the 4 July.

Paul Thomson 02/07/20 Superintendent of Epping Forest
City of London Corporation, Open Spaces - Epping Forest
Essex Police - Epping Forest

A message from the District Commander, Chief Inspector Ant Alcock, in relation to community concerns regarding High Beech:

"We are very aware of the concerns being voiced regarding High Beech. I am sure people have seen other incidents occurring across the Epping Forest District in recent weeks, and I am grateful for the understanding and support the community are showing our exceptional officers who are working tirelessly to keep everyone safe. I am keen to provide a clear message that Essex Police and partners have been allocating resources to High Beech where demand has allowed, and there has been a sustained presence when it has been achievable and proportionate to do so for several weeks. We will continue to be present this weekend, and not exclusively to address the situation in High Beech, (it is not lost on us that the weather is unlikely to lead to the same level of attendance Today), but because I am very keen to make the District a safe a place as we possibly can. We will do so through a number of means, including tackling those who drive at speeds which endanger the lives of others, seeking out those who are breaking into our homes and, of course, responding to instances of disorder and anti-social behaviour. There will be an opportunity in the coming weeks to communicate with the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, and myself regarding any concerns, for which we will ensure to publish details."
27 June 2020



6 June 2020

With daily life continuing to be disrupted and difficult, our news emails continue to have lots of information on what is happening and the support available in the community. 

LRA is your residents association and remains contactable, however please realise that we are all volunteers. Also, the Councils are having to prioritise work with a depleted workforce.


25 March 2020

We know that residents in our town will be very worried about the coronavirus and taking their own action during this extremely difficult time. It is heartwarming that many residents have spontaneously started to support their own local neighbourhood and vulnerable people, by providing assurance and practical support where needed.

LRA remains your residents association and contactable, however please realise that we are all volunteers and some of us will have to self isolate.

We are doing our best to keep up with what is happening locally, so can share the following local information and updates that we know about with you. Please remember that things can change, so do check directly with the organisation concerned if need be.

You can also follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook. You don't need to register or follow us for these - just click on the links.


Government and NHS Advice

The Goverment
(Latest updates here)
  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

The NHS (Latest updates here)

Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do if you have either:
  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.

Instead of going to your GP surgery, take control of your healthcare with Patient Access (an NHS partner) which connects you to local health services when you need them most. Book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions & discover local health services for you or your family on a mobile or computer. More


Helping Others

There are many voluntary organisations that will support our local community. These are many and varied and too numerous for us to track and report on.

  • The County Council has also launched Essex Coronavirus Action where volunteers can sign up. You should read the important information before doing so regarding your personal safety and wellbeing of others. All referrals going through to Essex that are local will be passed down to Voluntary Action Epping Forest

  • The Epping Forest Food Bank continues to operate but are running a reduced service due to measures put in place to slow the spread of infection. If you can donate, please check first what is needed, and that they will only be accepting food donations into the warehouse (Unit-D8 Seedbed Centre, Langston Road) Wednesdays and Fridays 10am -12noon. More
     
  • Support groups on Facebook have been set up around the country including for Loughton. This is a private group which anyone can join. It provides a forum for people to ask for help, offer help, and share Covid-19 information. There is also a Facebook group focusing on services and food locations.
     
  • Volunteering and supporting others at this time will make a difference, however be aware of warnings of fraudsters.

Supermarket Opening Times

These details could change. Check the websites for Sainsburys, M&S and Morrisons for the latest updates or if your shopping visit is important. Please respect the special opening hours below for those in need.

M&S Food, High Road
Open for vulnerable and elderly customers (More): Monday and Thursday 8am to 9am
Open for NHS and emergency service workers (More): Tuesday and Friday 8am to 9am

General opening hours
Monday to Saturday 8am to 9pm
Sunday 10am to 4pm

Morrisons, High Road
Open for NHS and social care workers (More): Monday to Saturday 7am to 8am

General opening hours
Monday to Saturday 8am to 8pm
Sunday 11am to 5pm

Sainsburys, The Broadway and Station Road
Open for elderly customers, disabled customers and carers only (More): Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8am to 9am
Open for NHS and social care workers (More): Monday to Saturday 7:30am to 8am

General opening hours
Monday to Saturday 8am to 8pm
Sunday 10am to 4pm

Sainsburys, Church Hill is open Monday to Sunday 7am to 11pm, however it is not clear whether the hours for special groups of people as above apply.

Sainsburys Home Delivery
Priority access for home delivery and access to Click & Collect services is being given to certain online customers. This includes those who are over 70 years of age, vulnerable, or who have a disability. More


Transport

From Transport for London (Latest updates here)
 
In line with Government advice, please do not travel unless your journey is absolutely essential.

  • TfL needs even more of you to stop travelling. This is critical to fighting the spread of COVID-19, protecting the NHS & maintaining safe &eliable transport for health, logistics and other critical workers. If you must travel, always check Journey Planner & TfL's travel tools.
  • From Monday 23 March, all road user charging schemes are suspended to help critical workers including the Congestion Charge, Ultra Low Emission Zone and Low Emission Zone. Keep roads clear for emergency services/critical workers. Only travel if your journey is essential.

From Essex County Council (Latest updates here)

  • Several bus companies will be running Saturday services on weekdays, from Monday 23 March. 
  • Essex County Council has agreed with bus operators that holders of Essex concessionary bus passes will be able to use them to travel free all day instead of after 09:00 as at present. This will start from Saturday 21 March 2020 and will continue until the government relaxes the current restrictions.
  • As the availability of bus services is likely to change over the coming weeks, you are strongly advised to check on your bus operator’s website, social media and phone apps to see what bus services will be running before starting your journey.
    Arriva, Epping Forest Community Transport, First Essex, Trustybus
Our Local Businesses

Many busineses are locally family owned businesses and need support, or they may not survive. Although restaurants and cafes have closed their doors some will still be doing takeaway business, so please consider using them if you're short of food or want to support your local businesses.


Councils

From the Town Council

Following the latest Government advice, all Loughton Town Council staff will be working from home.

Loughton Library and Town Hall and all Loughton Town Council playgrounds (including Traps Hill, Colebrook Lane, Oakwood Hill, Newman’s Lane, Hillyfields, Westall Road, Felstead Road and at Roding Valley Recreation Ground) will be closed until further notice. All outdoor gym equipment should not be used, as per Government directive.

All scheduled Council Committee Meetings are now cancelled until further notice.

Council Officers will have access to their emails. You can continue to contact the Council for urgent business on contact@loughton-tc.gov.uk or via the contact page on our website. You may experience some delay in responses.

Updates will be posted on the website and Facebook page.

Your co-operation and understanding during this difficult period is much appreciated. Please heed the Government advice and take care of yourselves and each other.


District Council
- Latest update
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • You can call the District Council  helpline on 01992 564088 but if possible please try to use the website to reduce the pressure on the helpline.
  • Refuse collections are scheduled but could be delayed. Although recycling centres are closed, the facilities that deal with kerbside rubbish collections remain open. Please help by splitting your recyclables from your residual rubbish.
County Council - Latest update
The County Council has also written to residents.

Councillors will remain contactable, but please realise a substantial number may have to self-isolate. 


Warnings

The District Council are warning that fraudsters are using the pandemic to target elderly, vulnerable people already worried about their health and future. More

There are reports of:
  • Fraudsters posing as NHS doctors to gain entry to peoples’ homes
  • People offering to do shopping for those who cannot get out, and disappearing with the money
  • Emails claiming to be able to provide a list of coronavirus infected people in their area and when they click on a link it leads to a malicious website.

Please beware, and please also let your elderly friends and neighbours know about it.


17 March 2020

Stay up to date with the latest news and advice from the County Council, the Department of Health and Social Care, and the NHS.

If you think you have symptoms, or you might have been exposed to the virus when travelling, the NHS advises to protect yourself and others, do not go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital.