Coronavirus Update (22nd May 2020)


Our update this week (22nd May) includes:

  1. Haringey & London Response Update
    1. Charging to recommence on some TfL buses
    2. Changes to the Freedom Pass
    3. Warning for businesses
    4. Schools & nurseries re-opening update
    5. Sports & leisure (tennis & basketball court updates)
    6. Parking enforcement could be reinstated soon
    7. Update on improving walking & cycling infrastructure
    8. Celebrating Haringey's unsung Heroes
    9. Support for those with learning disabilities during COVID-19
    10. Local Food Banks still require urgent donations
    11. Volunteering opportunities for local residents
    12. Telephone befriending service
  2. Our Haringey Giving appeal
  3. How you can contact us
  4. London & National Response Update
    1. Testing available for everyone aged 5 and over
    2. New PPE guidance for care workers
    3. Support for children with complex needs
    4. SEND care plans - changes to law
    5. Alcoholics Anonymous
  5. Have lockdown changes affected things locally? Let us know.
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1.1 Charging to recommence on some TfL buses

From tomorrow (Sat 23rd May) charging will recommence on the 85 routes served by single-door buses and the new Routemaster buses which have card readers located by the middle doors. New signage will appear on bus doors and announcements will be made to notify passengers of the requirement to tap in to travel.

The requirement to touch in will follow on more routes over the coming weeks, as changes are made to the protective screens of driver cabins across the network to increase their protection from coronavirus.

1.2 Changes to the Freedom Pass

In our newsletter last week we confirmed that as part of TfL’s financial support deal with the government, a number of restrictions will be introduced to travel times for Freedom Pass holders, which would mean that people can no longer use their Freedom Passes to travel on the Tube and buses during busy periods (this restriction does not apply to disabled passengers).

The details of this measure have still not been finalised and London Councils is seeking clarification urgently from TfL and the Department for Transport. London Councils will provide further information on this when clarity is received here.

Until clarification is received, Freedom Pass holders can continue to enjoy the full concession and extended concession on local non-TfL buses at the moment. However, we would urge all pass holders to avoid all but essential travel and to avoid travelling at peak commuter times.

The latest government guidance around using public transport can be found here.

1.3 Warning for businesses

Business Scams
Businesses in Haringey are urged to look out for a suspicious email requesting re-submission of application details in order to receive the COVID-19 Small Business or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grants.

The notice which comes from the NAFN (official organisation that provides data to local authorities) highlights this is a scam designed to acquire the details of eligible grant recipients. 

The email has been reported to Action Fraud, but if you would like to report any instances of the above please email them to [email protected]

It is safe to delete the email as soon as you have reported it. Legitimate information on business grants – and how to access them – can be found on the council’s business pages, and any requests for information would come directly from Haringey Council. If you are unsure if an email is legitimate then you can contact us as your local councillors for clarification.

Opening businesses and legionella control
Businesses across Haringey are also encouraged to check their water systems as they return to work following the lockdown period. 

Dormant water systems will result in bacterial growth, especially during the warmer weather. Legionella, which is naturally present in water systems, causes Legionnaires’ disease, so it is important that you regularly flush the system and follow the correct advice.

1.4 Schools & nurseries re-opening update

The government has issued guidance about schools and nurseries, which has proven very controversial.

Government guidance says that from the week commencing 1 June, the government is asking:
  • nurseries and other early year providers, including childminders, to begin welcoming back all children
  • primary schools to welcome back children in nursery (where they have them), reception, year 1 and year 6
  • secondary schools, sixth form, and further education colleges to begin some face to face support with year 10 and 12 pupils, although we do not expect these pupils to return on a full-time basis at this stage
  • all schools and childcare providers to continue to offer places to the priority groups – vulnerable children and children of critical workers – they have been supporting since the end of March
  • special schools, special post-16 institutions and hospital schools to work towards a phased return of more children and young people without a focus on specific year groups and informed by risk assessments
  • alternative provision to welcome back children in reception, year 1 and year 6 and begin some face to face support with year 10 and 11 pupils (as they have no year 12)
There are other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) listed here:

Haringey Council is still working through the guidance and speaking to schools and nurseries across the borough to confirm the plans for reopening in Haringey, however it is likely many institutions will not follow the government guidance. We would ask all parents to look out for correspondence from their child's school or nursery for the latest updates on their reopening plans.

1.5 Sports & leisure (tennis & basketball court updates)

While the Government confirmed last week that golf, tennis, angling and basketball are among the sports that can resume activity, Haringey Council has taken the view that all tennis courts and ball courts managed by them will remain closed for the foreseeable future. This decision has been made with the primary aim of keeping people safe when using their parks and stopping the virus spreading. However, the community sports organisations that run the courts in Finsbury Park, Albert Road Recreation Ground and Bruce Castle Park have decided to open the tennis courts they manage.

Since the tennis courts and ball courts were first closed in March, there have been a number of regular break-ins by groups of people, in contravention of social distancing regulations. This behaviour puts everyone’s lives at risk. Despite the Council’s Enforcement Teams responding to reported incidents, and the Parks Team removing nets, hoops and putting other security measures in place, groups are still regularly flouting the social distancing regulations.

Therefore all tennis courts, ball courts, outdoor gyms and playgrounds will all remain closed for the foreseeable future. Our group will continue to regularly review this decision by the council.

Please remember while you are using Haringey’s parks you need to:
  • Remain at least two metres away from others while in the park
  • Not meeting in groups of three or more, other than those in your households
  • Keep your dog on a lead at all times, otherwise you could face a fine of up to £100
  • Report any large gatherings in parks to the Police on 101
For those residents who plan to play tennis in courts which are privately leased from the council, or for those playing at private clubs, Government guidance only allows two people per court (except where a group of four players are all from the same household in which case they can play doubles). Please refer to the Lawn Tennis Association guidance

Personal training on a 121 basis can now take place as long as 2m social distancing is maintained. Personal trainers should register with the council before commencing at [email protected]

1.6 Parking enforcement could be reinstated soon
Since March 26 the Council have not enforced parking bay restrictions in CPZ areas. However as people return to work an increase in traffic and parking pressure is expected which will be unsustainable if parking controls remain unenforced.

The Council are therefore working on plans to resume full enforcement shortly. They will give notice of enforcement restarting  via street notices as well as communications through the Council website and on their social media channels. There will be a staggered approach, with warning notices only issued to vehicles found in contravention during the first week.

We expect further information on this next week, but in the meantime please look out for notices on your street. We will continue to update residents as and when we have further updates.

1.7 Update on improving walking & cycling infrastructure

Last week we provided information on how we were pushing Haringey Council for emergency pedestrian and cycling infrastructure to aid social distancing and to provide safer routes for commuting to work as an alternative to public transport or driving. We thank everyone that wrote to us offering their support, as well as all the suggestions for areas that could do with improvements.

Sadly we have yet to receive confirmation from Labour councillors that our requests will be acted on, but have been told in a written response that they are looking into it. Some of our requests, such as to reduce all remaining 30mph down to 20mph to make them safer were rejected, and we have responded in the strongest terms that this is not acceptable, and reiterated our request for the speed limit reduction.

We have also written to Will Norman (London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner) and Heidi Alexander (Deputy Mayor of London for Transport) asking them to intervene and request Haringey brings in safer street measures as an absolute priority.

We will keep you updated on developments.

1.8 Celebrating Haringey’s unsung Heroes

Do you know someone making a difference in the community during the coronavirus pandemic?

The Mayor of Haringey, Sheila Peacock has announced a new ‘Haringey Heroes Awards’ to celebrate Haringey’s unsung heroes. To find out more or make your nomination, click here.

1.9 Support for those with learning disabilities during COVID-19

The coronavirus outbreak can be confusing and difficult to understand. The outbreak can also cause increased stress and anxiety at this difficult time. 

Haringey Council has an easy read guide to support those with learning difficulties in our community: Advice for Groups with Learning Disabilties and Autism - COVID-19. The guide has useful information about the coronavirus, what symptoms to look out for and how to get help if someone becomes unwell. 

NHS England has released new guidance on Looking After Your Feelings and Your Body, which provides useful information to help support mental health and wellbeing. 

Mencap is also able to provide accessible support and resources for the people in our community who have a learning disability.
If you have a learning disability, and you’re worried about paying your bills, get in touch with the Haringey Learning Disabilities Team who can offer support and advice to help you. They can be reached on 0208 489 1384 - the line is open Monday - Friday, 9am - 4.30pm. Find out more on Haringey Council's Adult Social Care Support and Services page.

1.10 Local Food Banks still require urgent donations

Food banks continue to support residents across the borough and are seeing supplies running desperately low. If you are able to support them please consider doing so.

Muswell Hill Foodbank (The Trussell Trust)
  1. If you need food
    • The Muswell Hill Foodbank on Pembroke Road is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You will need to get a  voucher from one of the Referral Agencies (Citizens Advice, Social Services, Job Centres, some schools and doctors surgeries and other local charities) before going to the foodbank. Strict social distancing is in place to ensure the safety of clients and volunteers.
  2. The foodbank urgently needs donations

The Holy Trinity Food Bank Stroud Green
  • Open every Sunday from 1.30pm – 3.30pm.
  • Please drop off donations at the food bank between 1.30pm - 3.30pm on Sundays. Alternatively there are dedicated collection bins at:
    • Sainsbury’s, 175-179 Stroud Green Road, N4 3PZ
    • Londis, 9-11 Ferme Park Road, N4 4DS
If you would like to make a monetary donation please email: [email protected] and for more information visit:

The Gospel Centre Food Bank corner of Raleigh Road / Wightman Road, N8 OLT
  • Open Tuesday 6.30-8.30pm or Sunday 11.30-1pm.
  • Requires donations of non perishable food
  • Supporting those in need, especially from N8, N4 and N22 – no referral required
Enquiries to [email protected]

Other Local Foodbanks
1.11 Volunteering opportunities for local residents

Our voluntary organisations are working under huge pressure and looking for more help from the community:
1.12 Telephone befriending service

Staying at home can be lonely and it can be difficult to connect socially. As the lockdown continues this become ever more difficult for some of our residents.

Haringey Reach and Connect offer free calls to people in Haringey who would like to receive regular weekly calls from a friendly and supportive volunteer. The calls last approximately 30 minutes, and take place on the same day, at the same time, each week.  

They match older people and volunteers carefully, to ensure they have some common interests and friendships are reviewed regularly, to ensure that both parties find them enjoyable.  

If you would be interested in becoming or having a telephone befriender, please contact Reach and Connect who are running a special expanded service to respond to COVID-19, using this link:


Last month we launched a fundraising appeal for Haringey Giving, a fund managed by people in the Haringey community and endorsed by Haringey Council, which is supporting the borough’s most vulnerable people and community initiatives in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Within just 10 days we smashed our initial fundraising target of £1,500 thanks to the incredibly generous support of people like you.
We are therefore boldly increasing our target to £5,000. If you haven’t yet donated or are able to donate again please do so here:

So far Haringey Giving have raised over £103,000 for 23 different projects and are also looking to raise more money through business and corporate sponsors.

Click here to donate whatever you can to our fundraiser appeal


We continue to operate our surgeries via telephone, and not in-person. To find you local councillor, their surgery details, and details on how to contact them any time by email, please refer to our Councillors webpage.

Alternatively if you have any questions about COVID-19, or need to get in touch for support on any other issue and are not represented by a Lib Dem councillor where you live but would like for us to assist you, please email me directly at


4.1 Testing available for everyone aged 5 and over

Under new rules announced by the government, everyone aged five and over with symptoms of COVID-19 is now eligible for a test. Those with a new continuous cough, a high temperature or the loss or change of sense of taste or smell can book one by visiting the NHS website. If you’re eligible for a test and you don’t have internet access you can call 119.

More than 21,000 contact tracers have also been recruited by the government to help manually trace the contacts of anyone who has had a positive test and advise them on whether they need to isolate. Read a statement from Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock.

The guidance has also been updated around the symptoms of coronavirus. Anyone who develops a new continuous cough, fever or anosmia (loss of taste and smell) will need to self-isolate immediately. The individual’s household should also self-isolate for 14 days as per the current guidelines and the individual should stay at home for seven days, or longer if they still have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell.

Details about the different types of tests and testing kits for COVID-19 can be found here.

4.2 New PPE guidance for care workers

Last week new guidance was published on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by health and social care workers in the current Covid-19 pandemic. It includes specific guidance for domiciliary and care home providers on how to work safely, laying out the recommended PPE items for specific settings and situations.

We know that many older people and their loved ones have been very worried and confused about what PPE they should expect their care workers to be using and this new guidance provides some clarity on this, however it does not tackle the issue of supply.
4.3 Support for children with complex needs

Children with special educational needs and disabilities in England will benefit from £37.3 million of direct support in 2020-21, which is expected to help more than 75,000 families in England.

Families with children that have complex needs and disabilities will receive grants for equipment to make their lives easier while implementing social distancing measures, including computers, specialist equipment and educational toys. As part of this £10million has been specifically committed in response to the difficulties presented by the coronavirus pandemic, helping parents to educate and look after disabled or critically ill children who are staying at home more than usual.

The settlement has been provided to Family Fund who will provide grants of around £400-£500 per family depending on need. The grants will help low-income families with seriously ill or disabled children with the cost of equipment, goods or services - from washing machines and refrigerators to sensory and educational equipment that they might not otherwise be able to afford.

Applications details are available on Family Fund website

4.4 SEND care plans - changes to law

The government has introduced some temporary changes to the law on education, health and care (EHC) plans to allow local authorities and health commissioning bodies greater flexibility during this health emergency.

Firstly, it has issued a notice under the Coronavirus Act 2020 confirming that local authorities and health commissioning bodies (e.g. Clinical Commissioning Groups) must now use their reasonable endeavours to secure the provision set out within a child or young person’s EHC plan. This means that local authorities and health commissioning bodies must consider, for each child and young person with an EHC plan, what they need to provide during the period of the notice. This may result in a child or young person’s provision being different from that which is set out in their EHC plan, but local authorities and health services will still seek to support the needs of the child or young person in the new circumstances we find ourselves in. For example, they may offer support virtually rather than face to face. This legal change will be in force from 1st to 31st May 2020 and may be extended.

Secondly, where a reason relating to the incidence or transmission of coronavirus applies, the usual timescales in regulations for various EHC processes will be replaced by requirements on local authorities, health care professionals and others to act as soon as reasonably practicable (or in line with any other timing requirement in the regulations being amended). These changes will be in force from 1st May to 25th September 2020 and will be kept under review.

The government guidance can be found here:

4.5 Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous is up and running during the Covid-19 lockdown. Although face-to-face meetings have been suspended many meetings have gone online and they are experiencing a large influx of newcomers.
Anyone who thinks they may have a problem with alcohol can call the helpline: 0800 917  7650, send an email: [email protected] or use the Chat Now facility on the website


Have any of the changes announced on Sunday impacted your area? Has rat-running increased, or is there a new problem area for social distancing? Or perhaps the number of potholes in your road has increased, or a new fly-tipping hotspot has been created during the lockdown?

Please let us know of any issues you want us to look into an help remedy by emailing me at [email protected] and our councillors will do our best to help.

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