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Changes to services

Changes to council services in response to Coronavirus

Last updated: 31 July 2020

222 Upper Street

Our contact centre at 222 Upper St is open only for emergency cases. Please do not visit if it is not emergency as we will not be able to help you face to face.

In line with Government guidance – you should not be leaving your house unless absolutely necessary. You can do most things online on this website so please look here first and phone only if you really need to speak to someone.

Adult day centres

The following day centres, providing services for older and disabled residents will be closed from Friday 20 March.

  • Alsen Day Centre
  • Highbury New Park Day Centre
  • Islington Outlook
  • Daylight Islington

We are contacting service users, their families and carers directly and will continue to provide care and support in the safest and best way possible and based on their individual needs.

If you would like to speak to someone in the meantime, please call 020 7527 2299, 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday or 020 7226 0992, at all other times. 

Adventure playgrounds and youth provision

Adventure playgrounds for children 6 +

Adventure playgrounds are reopening from the 20th July with protective measures in place to ensure that they are as safe as possible. Islington has 12 adventure playgrounds which are safe, welcoming, fun and free for children aged 6 and up. They give children the opportunity to safely socialise with others outside their household, burn off energy and boost their physical and emotional health.

For more information, please visit this page on our website.

You can find out more in Islington’s adventure playgrounds leaflet.

Islington youth hubs and clubs will reopen for the summer offering a wide range of activities for young people aged 13+. Some activities are taking place online and others socially distanced, to keep everybody as safe as possible due to the coronavirus situation.

For more information please visit our Directory page.

Summerversity and Launchpad

Our annual programmes of free summer holiday activities for young people aged 13 and up Summerversity and Launchpad for young people aged 16 and up are back with activities and opportunities to help young people make the most of their summer holiday while staying safe.

There will be a range of opportunities to try including kayaking, bike repair, carpentry and go- karting, music, cookery, life skills and employability support and sport and fitness.

Everything is FREE for young people who live or go to school in Islington. Young people attending any of the activities will receive a free packed lunch provided by Lunch Bunch.

More courses and activities will be added in line with the most up to date government guidelines. The programme will run for the six weeks of the summer holidays from Monday 20th July to Friday 28th August.

All Summerversity and Launchpad activities can be accessed and booked online at
For more information about wider youth offer available in Islington over the summer visit

For more information on Targeted Youth Support please phone its duty service on 020 7527 2600 or email Lines are open 9am – 12.30pm, Monday to Friday. You can also contact the Targeted Youth Support and Youth Offending Service’s reception on 020 7527 7050/60 between 9.00- 5pm. Children’s Services Contact Team can be contacted for safeguarding concerns on 020 7527 7400, 9am – to 5pm Monday to Friday or on 020 7226 0992 at other times.

Anti-social behaviour

With more people spending time at home during this pandemic, things may get a little bit noisier than usual -- please be considerate of your neighbours as they may be ill or working night shifts.

If you are experiencing excessive noise from a neighbour, our noise service is operating and remains committed to tackling this form of anti-social behaviour (ASB). To keep residents and our officers safe we will not be visiting people in their homes to assess noise complaints. Instead, one of our officers will visit the property concerned and make an external assessment.

Out of Hours Response Service times for investigating noise and ASB complaints have changed temporarily to 5pm - midnight Sunday to Thursday, and 5pm - 2am on Friday and Saturday.

Report ASB

Make a noise complaint

Bright start: Under 5s and Children's Centres

Following government guidelines, early years education and childcare providers are now open for all children. 

Other services such as stay and plays, parenting programmes and health and well-being sessions remain closed. Community midwifery clinics are continuing in children’s centres. Please contact your midwife directly if you have any questions.

If you have a family support worker, they will continue to remain in contact with you during this period. You can find more information about family support on our directory website. 

If you have a question, need some information, advice or guidance our family engagement workers are still here to talk over the phone.

We have developed a programme of online activities and teams are supporting parents over the phone. We are encouraging all parents to sign up to our fortnightly Bright Start, Bright Ideas newsletter and Quick Tips

For more information on what is available or to speak to someone in your area please contact:

Alternatively you can contact the Family Information Service on 020 7527 5959, Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm, or email

Birth, death, marriage and citizenship services

Islington Register Office is now open for some pre-approved appointments only:

We have had to temporarily suspend our identity checking service for those applying for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). You can continue to order copies of certificates online and they will be posted to you.

We are now able to take bookings for a marriage or civil partnership ceremony for Islington Town Hall and other licenced venues, so please visit Say I do Islington to book.

We will continue to monitor the situation, and will follow government advice with the focus being on maintaining the health and safety of our staff and the public.

We will return to a full service when it is safe to do so, but we expect this to continue until at least the end of August for EUSS appointments.


Heatwave summer activities

Islington’s summer activities programme for children and young people is definitely on, offering a range of activities for children and young people of all ages in July and August. Some activities are taking place online and others socially distanced, to keep everybody as safe as possible due to the coronavirus situation.

You can find out more at the Heatwave 2020 webpage.

Housing Offices

Given recent Government advice about limiting social contact, we have closed St John’s Housing Office and Holland Walk Housing Office.

If you or someone you know needs help with shopping or other practical support, please call us on 020 7527 8222.

Housing repairs

Our Repairs team are focusing on essential maintenance, safety checks and emergency repairs only to avoid going in to people’s homes where we don’t have to. Please do your bit and only telephone our Repairs Service if it is an emergency. Please report repairs by telephone only, not online. If you or anyone else in your household is self-isolating, please inform our staff when you report your repair so that we can plan to deliver the repairs appropriately.

Libraries and Islington Museum

Safe and phased reopening of libraries from 27 July

We’ve missed you and are delighted to let you know about our plans to reopen our libraries from the end of July.

Your safety and that of our staff is our top priority so we intend to open services in phases, in our bigger buildings:

- Monday 27 July – Saturday 8 August: returns only at Central and Finsbury libraries
- From Monday 10 August – Saturday 29 August: click call and collect only from Central, Finsbury and Archway libraries
- September onwards (tbc) – more buildings open for browsing and choosing books and more study spaces – though numbers of people will be limited.

Our online offer will continue during this time and the Home Library Service will restart limited deliveries to registered users from 27 July.

All books, CDs and DVDs borrowed after the 9 March are now due back on the 1 September. We will not fine you for overdue items – but we do want them back for others to enjoy!

Return items safely from Monday 27 July – Saturday 8 August

We currently have large numbers of items on loan and need to quarantine them for 72 hours before they can be handled by staff and made available to other users. To enable you to return them safely:

  • Central and Finsbury library will open from Monday 27 July
  • we will open from 11am-4pm, Monday to Friday and 11am-5pm on Saturdays
  • you can drop your items into crates at the building entrances. Our staff will be on hand to supervise and help
  • when we are closed, you can still pop items into the drop boxes by the building entrances.

    Click/call and collect from Monday 10 August – Saturday 29 August

• From Monday 10 August you will be able to reserve a book/DVD or CD online or on the phone and collect from Central, Finsbury and Archway Libraries. CDs and DVDs can be borrowed for free.

• To search for items go to this page on our website or otherwise call us:
o Central Library – 0207 527 6953
o Finsbury Library – 0207 527 7965
o Archway Library – 0207 527 7825

We will contact you when your item is ready to collect
• You can drop in from 11am – 4pm from Monday – Friday or 11am-5pm on Saturday to collect
• If you would like us to help you choose, our team can provide you a with a ‘lucky dip’ Ready Reads selection. You suggest a genre or topic you are interested in and we choose some titles for you. There will be options for adults, children and teenagers. Just call us!

Book PCs and study spaces from Monday 10 August – Saturday 29 August

  • A limited number of PCs will be available to book at Central Library
  • A limited number of study spaces will available at Central Library, which will need to be booked in advance
  • Please call the number above – or email us

Browse and select safely from September

We hope to be opening more libraries so that you can browse, select and return items and also to book PCs and study spaces, from September. We also hope the Local History Centre will reopen for appointments from this point as well. We will keep you posted by email, letter and our website.

How we will be keeping you safe

  • We will ask you to wear a face covering if you come inside the library, to protect staff and other users.
  • There will be socially distanced queuing systems in place at all times
  • All returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours
  • We will limit access to buildings once we reopen them and will ask you to follow social distancing guidelines when visiting
  • You will be asked to sanitise your hands when entering the library
  • If you are using a pre-booked PC or study space you will be asked to sanitise your hands before use
  • We will clean all PCs between customers
  • We will ask for your name and contact details to assist with Test and Trace

We hope this information is helpful and look forward to welcoming you back soon.


The safety of customers and stallholders is a top priority for the council, and the traders have been issued with clear instructions on how to operate social distancing at market stalls, which they have agreed to follow. The guidelines will be kept under constant review and updated where necessary to ensure that stallholders and shoppers can all stay safe.


Given the relaxation of the most stringent lockdown instructions, we anticipate an increase in vehicle use throughout the borough. The council has a responsibility to ensure that traffic is able to flow relatively freely and safely and to protect parking spaces so that those who are entitled to use them can do so. We will therefore be returning to normal enforcement on Monday 1 June 2020.

This is especially true of the school streets scheme. From 1 June 2020, vehicles will not be able to enter the streets between the times of operation unless they have been given an exemption. Residents and businesses who live and work on a school street will be able to register for a School Street Permit as well as Blue Badge holders. Drivers should, as always, pay particular attention to local signage and road marking indicating restrictions.

It’s absolutely vital key workers and emergency vehicles can access and move around the borough safely. We’re issuing key worker permits to the NHS and other organisations to issue to their key worker staff who need to park in residential bays so they can get to work or provide vital services in residents’ homes.

If you are a key worker who is unable to obtain a permit from your employer please email your request to, supplying a letter with an organisational letter head confirming your keyworker status. Volunteer organisations will also be eligible for the key worker permit. If you require this, please ask your volunteer organisation to email with the request.

We know some people are dropping off food and vital supplies to vulnerable residents, so we have a new free “help period” for drop-offs. You will not be issued a ticket if you park in a residential bay to drop off food and vital supplies, as long as this takes no more than 10 minutes. To keep spaces free for key workers, volunteers and local people who need them, please don’t park for longer than 10 minutes.

Islington has a very limited amount of parking spaces and we need everyone to be considerate so key workers and residents can find a space. Please be mindful of this when you park and do not park inconsiderately. Wherever possible, if you can avoid parking near main key worker sites, especially the Whittington Hospital, please do. This will help NHS staff get to and from work more easily so that they can focus on helping the people who need them.

We have noticed that during these unprecedented times, it has become somewhat difficult for residents of the Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) K to find parking in Residents Bays in streets around Whittington Hospital.

In order to alleviate this issue, we have agreed to allow residents with a valid residents parking permit for the CPZ K, who are unable to find parking in Residents Bays in the CPZ K, to park in Residents Bays in the nearby CPZ P and Z. This arrangement will be in force until midnight on 30th September 2020.

We need everyone in Islington to park sensibly, avoid causing obstructions, ensure GP and disabled bays are kept clear, and that there is space for key workers, volunteers and emergency vehicles. Where people do not keep to this, we will continue to enforce parking controls.

Our key workers and volunteer organisations are on the frontline of helping to cope with coronavirus and we all need to work together to support them as much as we can.

Parks, playgrounds and sports facilities

All 187 of Islington’s playgrounds and nine outdoor gyms are now open. 

Council staff have been working hard to carry out deep cleans, safety checks and repairs to ensure that they are as safe as possible for children and their parents.

Visitors are asked to ensure social distancing and good hand hygiene through regular use of hand sanitiser and by washing hands, and those using outdoor gyms are asked to sanitise equipment before and after use.

Please read and follow the new on-site signage and play your part in preventing the spread of coronavirus and keep others safe.

We have re-opened our tennis courts, sports pitches and some of our multi-use-games areas. These areas have been safety checked, cleaned and signage for safe use are in place. All tennis courts must be booked in advance.

Toilets facilities have re-opened at the following parks:

Park Opening times 
Highbury Fields (tennis courts) 8am to 8.30pm Mon to Fri
8am to 6.30pm Sat and Sun
Tufnell Park 8am to 8.30pm Mon to Fri
8am to 6.30pm Sat and Sun
 Whittington Park (changing room building) 8am to 6.30pm daily
 Elthorne Park (Keepers hut) 8am to 5.30pm daily
 Rosemary Gardens (changing rooms) 8am to 8.30pm Mon to Fri
8am to 6.30pm Sat and Sun

Sites are being closely monitored and increased cleaning is taking place.

Rubbish, recycling and assisted bulky waste services

Bulky waste collections

Assisted bulky waste collections have been suspended until further notice. 

Our regular bulky waste collection service continues to operate as normal.

Reuse and Recycling Centre

Hornsey Street Reuse and Recycling Centre is open from 9am-4pm daily. Advance booking is essential. The van booking system has been reintroduced for people with vans or trailers. If you are experiencing issues or need help to make your booking, please call London Energy Ltd: 07483 077 859 Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4.30pm.

The service allows people to dispose of household or garden waste items that can now include charity waste, plasterboard and rubble. The paint reuse scheme is not currently running.

Strict social distancing measures are in place to ensure the safety of residents and staff. Please follow guidance and act responsibly. For more information visit the North London Waste Authority website

You can continue to recycle lots of items in your normal household collection service and you can find your nearest alternative reuse and recycling centre on the NLWA's website

Rubbish and recycling collections

Our recycling and rubbish collections continue as normal, and you can continue to recycle lots of items in your normal household collection service.

Clear recycling bags

We have introduced temporary collection arrangements for clear recycling bags. If you have a door-to-door recycling collection, you do not need to use clear bags. You can use your green box and any extra recycling can be placed in any plastic bag (not black refuse bags), and placed next to your green box for collection.

Residents on estates can place their recycling loose into communal recycling containers.

Textile banks

All our textile banks are now closed. During the current situation, please DO NOT take unwanted clothes to local textile banks or charity shops.


Islington schools and childcare providers continue to offer places to the priority groups – vulnerable children and children of critical workers – as they have been since the end of March 2020.

The Government is asking schools and settings to start to plan to reopen to more pupils, from the week commencing 1 June at the earliest. These plans are for primary schools to begin to bring back children in reception, year 1 and year 6, subject to the Government’s final decision on 28 May.

In Islington the health and safety of all children and the school community is our first priority. Our policy is to have a phased return to school for more children at a time and in a manner that keeps them safe. The decisions school leaders and their governing bodies take, will be guided by a robust risk assessment and careful planning, with support from the council, to make sure it is as safe as possible. Schools will be writing to parents to advise on timings and specific plans for their children’s school.

Read the full Government guidance on schools reopening.

If you are a key worker living in Islington and need advice about childcare, you can contact the Family Information Service on 020 7527 5959 or email Phone line open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 4pm.

COVID-19 - Free School Meals

A national voucher scheme has been introduced by the Government that will allow children eligible for free school meals to still access that provision while they stay at home.

We are following the government guidelines on the provision of FSMs and working with our schools to ensure that pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals continue to receive support. For those children not attending school, schools can offer either supermarket vouchers up to the value of £15 / week to parents so they can purchase food, or food hampers, which must be collected from the school. 

Schools will be making their arrangements for eligible children, please contact your child’s school to know which option your school has chosen. 

For more information about changes to free school meals, including how to apply visit the free school meals page.

Transport and Travel

The 812 bus service will no longer run from Tuesday 31 March 2020 to help save lives in the current emergency. It is not possible to maintain a 2 metre distance between passengers using the small vehicles. Other transport services continue to operate for essential trips. If you still need to make your journey please contact Dial-a-Ride on 0343 222 7777 or Taxicard on 020 7763 5001 or 020 7082 3131.

The council is introducing people-friendly streets to make our streets friendly for all, especially children, young people and the vulnerable.


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