Coronavirus - latest service updates

Updated 23 April

Coronavirus advice

We’re delivering essential supplies of nappies and baby milk to families with children under two-years-old in Edinburgh.

Tips to support your wellbeing during the coronavirus crisis.

Team of 100 processing small business grants.

Updated 20 April

Working with the Bethany Christian Trust to provide homeless with new hotel shelter.

New partnership food distribution network set up.

Updated 13 April

We've closed public access to Cramond Island for the safety of the public.

Updated 5 April

We’ve put in place a wide range of much-needed support for families of children with additional support needs during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Updated 4 April

Thanks given for the great response from the people of Edinburgh to help the city through the current coronavirus pandemic and information provided on how you can help the fantastic volunteering effort.

Updated 3 April

Appeal for businesses to follow government guidance and information shared on how to apply for the Coronavirus Small Business Support Fund.

Updated 2 April

We've made changes to our waste collection services to protect our workers' safety.

Everyone is urged to follow social distancing guidance when spending time in our parks.

Read information about childcare support for key workers with children under 5 and the latest position on 1140 funded hours for early years.

Updated 1 April

We have some more information on the support arrangements for vulnerable and high risk people.

Additionally, we have support for parents, carers, children and young people, further guidance on using our parks and greenspaces and more details on how to contact us if you need to.

Businesses, employers and jobs has details of an extension for licence holders, and information on payment of Business Support grants starting from 6 April.

Updated 31 March

There's information, advice and links to more support on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak.

Also, please be alert to scams during the coronavirus outbreak with our advice on what to look out for and how to avoid them.

Updated 30 March

Our planning and building standards teams have advice on current services and how and when to get in touch.

Council Tax and benefits

Due to the overwhelming demand and significantly reduced resources in our contact centre, our Council Tax and benefits phone line is open 10am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, and 10am to 3pm on a Friday. Otherwise, please email [email protected] and we'll come back to you promptly. Read the latest advice and information on Council, welfare and benefits.

Emergencies only: our phone line (0131 608 1111) is for citizens who need to speak to someone.

Updated 25 March

Helping those without a home

Plans are underway to help us house homeless people across Edinburgh - details in our section on homelessness.  

Updated 24 March

Bereavement services update

Government guidance currently allows funerals to take place with immediate family only present – this means a Service at Mortonhall Crematorium or at any of our Cemeteries (graveside services) can only be attended by immediate family.

At this time immediate family are defined by our industry bodies as:

  • partner/spouse of the deceased
  • children(and their partners) of the deceased
  • parents (or carers) of the deceased
  • brothers and sister of the deceased

Your co-operation is appreciated at this difficult time.

Updated 23 March

Recycling centres closed

Our recycling centres are closed until further notice. This is to make sure we are following government guidance on restricting non-essential travel and contact. If you have large items please keep them at home until our recycling centres reopen and only use communal and wheelie bins for your day to day waste and recycling.

Updated 22 March

Childcare for key workers 

Our latest information for parents and carers who are considered key workers.

Closure of 249 High Street

Our office at 249 High Street is now closed.

Advice for food establishments

Restuarants are welcome to offer take aways and home deliveries. We're relaxing our enforcement rules at this time and offering advice on safely serving meals if your establishment doesn't already offer this service. Please contact [email protected]

Goods deliveries 

Given the challenges retailers and distributors face at this time, we've relaxed rules around delivery times for three months. This will help much-needed goods like food supplies to be made at any time.

Other service updates

Updates are now available online on our homelessness services, on Council Tax, benefits and welfare, and on advice for our Council Tenants

Updated 20 March

Blue box (glass) collections

From Monday 23 March kerbside blue box (glass) collections will be suspended due to staff shortages. Please read more about what to do with your glass.

Updated 19 March

Free school meals - Council Leader statement

Council Leader Adam McVey said: "I’m pleased that we've been able to ensure young people who receive Free School Meals will continue to be supported with this payment. We’ve also given additional funding to help support families with children receiving free school meals through the Easter Holidays. We’re now pulling together proposals to support the children of key workers and our most vulnerable families which we will have finalised next week. I want to reassure the people of Edinburgh that the Council will continue to do all it can to protect and support our communities."

Bin collections and service update

Find out about changes to bin collections and service updates.

Updated 18 March

School closures - Council Leader statement

Council leader Adam McVey said:

"Obviously the health and safety of young people and all the staff working in our schools is paramount and we fully support the Scottish Government’s decision. Our dedicated school staff have been planning in depth for such a scenario and a huge amount of work has gone into preparing online resources so pupils’ learning and teaching can continue. There will be a particular focus of pupils sitting exams in the coming months and we make sure we liaise closely with the Scottish Qualifications Authority and follow their guidelines. We realise that this will cause inconvenience but hope parents, carers and our young people will understand the reasons for taking these steps and fully support this decision.

"I’ve been so proud of the amazing resilience shown by everyone working in our schools – teachers, support assistants, cleaners and catering staff – they have demonstrated tremendous dedication in keeping our schools open during these recent challenging weeks.

"As a Council, we're determined to do everything we can to protect our communities especially the most vulnerable in our society. We’ve been working on plans to continue to support our young people who currently get Free School Meals during school closures and more details will be announced later in the week."

Further closures

  • We've taken the decision to close all of our public libraries and community centres by 10pm tomorrow. For library users, there will be no additional fines from Friday 20 March until further notice.
  • We are of course still providing our online services including eBooks, audiobooks, magazines and newspapers.
  • Parts of the City Chambers will also be shut.
  • The planning and building standards helpdesk will be closed until further notice. You can still view and comment on planning applications online and email the team at [email protected]

Advice hubs

These will be set up in different parts of the city to provide advice and support to citizens. We will share further details as soon as we can. 

Cancellations

  • All our community-based adult learning classes have been cancelled until further notice. This includes:
    • ESOL (English for speakers of other languages)
    • family learning
    • Outlook
    • all iteracy and numeracy classes including those for deaf learners and English classes for Syrian refugees.
  • All our Active School extra curricular clubs have been cancelled until further notice.
  • All organised events due to be hosted in our parks have been cancelled until the end of April.
  • The Council's Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Committee, scheduled for Thursday 19 March at the City Chambers, has been cancelled.
  • Choices for City Plan drop-in event, scheduled for Thursday 19 March at St Brides Community Centre, has been cancelled. 

Updated 17 March

  • All performances at the Usher Hall, Assembly Rooms, Church Hill Theatre and Ross Bandstand have been postponed or cancelled until the end of April.
  • All of our Museum and Galleries (City Art Centre, Museum of Edinburgh, Museum of Childhood, The People’s Story, The Writers’ Museum, Queensferry Museum, Lauriston Castle, Scott Monument and Nelson Monument) will be closed from 5pm this evening (17 March 2020) until the end of April.
  • The Wedding Fayre, scheduled for Sunday 29 March, at the City Chambers has been cancelled. 
  • All school trips, domestic and international and including day trips and residential events/experiences have been cancelled. 

Updated 16 March

  • The Council has introduced new measures to protect the city’s most vulnerable and ensure it continues to provide core services.
  • Social distancing and restrictions on visiting have been introduced in Council-run care homes in Edinburgh as part of a ramped-up response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 
  • The measures, aimed at protecting some of the city's most vulnerable people, will see care home residents taking meals in their rooms and day centres will be closed. They come days after the Council announced emergency funding of £2 million to support Edinburgh's response to the pandemic. 
  • In schools, assemblies, large gatherings and team meetings are to be stopped, unless absolutely essential. 
  • In line with the latest official guidance announced by both the UK and Scottish Governments earlier today to reduce the spread of the virus, for Council employees in office-based jobs working from home is being introduced on a phased approach in the coming days, with those with underlying health conditions, or who are pregnant advised to work from home as a priority. There will be no attendance at events and only essential external and internal meetings. 
  • In terms of official Council committee business, the recess period will now begin from Friday 20 March rather than 30 March and will last until 27 April. Any urgent decisions during this recess will be made by the Council Leadership Forum (a formal committee of group leaders of each political grouping on the Council, chaired by the Council Leader).