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Changes to services

Changes to council services in response to Coronavirus

Last updated: Wednesday 31 March 2021

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.

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, are currently suspended:

  • Alsen Day Centre

  • Highbury New Park Day Centre

  • Islington Outlook

  • Daylight Islington 

We are maintaining regular contact with people using our services, 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.

Spectrum is operating a reduced three day service.

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 remain open, 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 our adventure playgrounds page.

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


Youth hubs and clubs

From 12 April open access activities have resumed with all young people now being able to attend indoor or outdoor activities.

Youth activities for under 18’s are available indoors or outdoors with no bubble groups required and no limitations on group size. All standard Covid secure measures such social distancing, hygiene and face coverings continue to be in place.

Youth activities for over 18’s are available indoors or outdoors in ‘support groups’ for vulnerable young people in groups of 15 (plus staff, volunteers, and carers). Support groups are by invitation only.

Outdoor provision for young people who are not part of a support group is permitted in groups of up to six including staff /volunteers.

Online/digital, detached/outdoor and 1-2-1 youth provision will remain available to all young people.

For more information visit Youth hubs and clubs.

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

Early years providers are open for free early learning for 2, 3, 4 year olds and for childcare.

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 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.

To use Bright Start services you will need to register.

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

Cemetery Service

To find out the latest service information and opening hours for the Islington and Camden Cemeteries please visit their website:

Cemetery Service Updates

Housing Offices

During the pandemic, you can still bid for social housing properties on the council’s Choice Based Lettings website. This means that if your bid is successful, the offer of viewings and moves to your new property will proceed during this period.

Further information about how Choice Based Lettings works can be found on the bid for housing page. If you have any questions, please contact the Rehousing team by emailing the housing office teamr

Office closure

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

Please report repairs by telephone only, not online, so we can get all the information we need to keep everyone safe. It may take us longer than usual to answer your call or attend to your repair. 

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

Following the government's roadmap out of lockdown, we are planning to reopen in stages, subject to the latest restrictions.

Starting 26 April: Browsing and choosing items.

You will be able to browse and choose items at all of our libraries. 

Opening hours have been amended for the time being: 

  Mon  Tue  Wed  Thu  Fri Sat
 Archway  11am-8pm       closed  11am-8pm       closed  11am-4pm       9.30am-5pm
 Cat and mouse       closed  11am-7pm       closed  11am-7pm       closed  11am-5pm
 Central  11am-8pm  11am-4pm  11am-8pm  11am-8pm  11am-4pm  9.30-5pm
 Finsbury  11am-8pm  11am-4pm  11am-4pm  11am-8pm  11am-4pm  9am-5pm
 Lewis Carroll  11am-7pm  closed  11am-7pm  closed  closed  11am-5pm
 Mildmay  closed  11am-8pm  closed  11am-8pm  closed  11am-5pm
 N4  11am-8pm  11am-4pm  11am-8pm  closed  11am-4pm  9.30am-5pm
 North  closed  11am-8pm  closed  11am-8pm  closed  11am-5pm
 South   11am-8pm  closed  11am-8pm  closed  11am-4pm  9.30am-5pm
 West  closed  11am-8pm  closed  11am-8pm  11am-4pm  9.30am-5pm

You will be able to browse and choose items, as well as book PCs and study spaces, but these must be pre-booked.

Library telephone numbers: 

Local History will also be open for pre-booked appointments only.  Please email

Currently there are no fines for items you have on loan that become overdue.

You can borrow eBooks, eAudiobooks, online newspapers, magazines, comics and other resources for free on our library, arts and heritage webpages. 

You can join Islington libraries online or email

You can still enjoy our new free, fun family online rhyme and story times for under 5s. Book your Under 5s ticket on Eventbrite.

Keep up to date with our latest news by signing up for our libraries e-bulletin.

Islington Museum

Islington Museum remains closed. We will reopen when it is safe to do so.


Market traders selling non-essential goods will reopen no earlier than the 12 April 2021. Traders selling essential goods 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.


If you hold a Key Worker Permit, issued before 6 January 2021 you should re-apply for a new permit. Existing permits will expire on 31/01/2021 and will no longer be valid. You will need to supply (a) the make, model and registration number of your vehicle (b) the full name and address of your workplace (c) supporting evidence of key worker status and (d) the name and address of the place/s near which you require parking. This information should be sent to

Visitor parking vouchers

Visitor parking vouchers are taking longer than usual to arrive due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on the postal service. 
To avoid any potential delays in receiving your vouchers, please use our paperless e-voucher service. E-vouchers are available for use immediately and are cheaper than paper vouchers. Alternatively, please allow extra time for your paper vouchers to arrive.

Parking and Traffic Enforcement

The council has a responsibility to ensure that traffic can flow relatively freely and safely and to protect parking spaces so that those who are entitled to use them can do so. At this time, 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. Therefore, normal enforcement will continue throughout the lockdown period.

Key worker permits

It is 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 give to their key worker staff who need to park in residential bays so they can get to work or provide essential services in residents’ homes.

If you are a key worker who requires a permit, please email your request to, supplying a letter with an organisational letterhead confirming your keyworker status. Volunteer organisations will also be eligible for the key worker permit. If you require one, please ask your volunteer organisation to email with the request.

We have noticed that during these unprecedented times, it has become difficult for residents of the Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) K to find parking in residents’ bays in streets around Whittington Hospital. Therefore, only resident permits are permitted in zone K. Keyworkers needing to park close to Whittington Hospital must only use adjacent CPZs such as P and Z.

Parks, playgrounds and sports facilities

All parks and all playgrounds remain open.

Find the latest information on our leisure centres on the Better website

You are now allowed to use parks for recreation and exercise in groups of up to six, with your support bubble, or with one other household. 

All outdoor sports facilities have reopened. As an informal booking you can play sport only in groups of up to six, with your support bubble, or with one other household. If you are playing as part of a formal booking you can play in any number. However, you should adhere to the relevant sporting body covid secure guidelines.  For instance, if you are playing football you should check on the Football Foundation's website for their covid guidelines. 

Barbecues are currently not permitted in any of our parks. 

Please help us by picking up your unwanted items or rubbish and taking it home with you or using available litter bins. 

Visitors are asked to ensure social distancing and good hand hygiene through regular hand washing and use of hand sanitiser. 

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

Toilets facilities will stay open at these times:


Opening times from 29 March

Highbury Fields (tennis courts) (2 unisex toilets)

8am to 8.30pm (Mon to Fri)

Tufnell Park (separate male and female blocks with 3 cubicles and 1 urinal)

8am to 6pm (Mon to Sun)

Whittington Park (changing room building) (one unisex accessible toilet)

8am to 10pm (Mon to Fri)

8am to 6.30pm (Sat, Sun)

Elthorne Park (Keepers hut) (one unisex accessible toilet)

11am to 7pm (Mon to Sun)

Rosemary Gardens (changing rooms) (two unisex accessible toilets)

8am to 10pm (Mon to Fri)

8am to 6.30pm (Sat, Sun)

Kings Square Gardens (children's playground) (one unisex accessible toilet)

11am to 7pm (Mon to Sun)

Barnard Park (children's playground) (one unisex toilet)

11am to 7pm (Mon to Sun)

Whittington Park (playground) (one unisex accessible toilet and 2 unisex accessible toilets)

11 am to 7pm (Mon to Sun)

Caledonian Park (cafe building) (two unisex accessible toilets)

10am to 5pm (Mon to Sun)

Highbury Fields (children's playground) 

11 am to 7pm (Mon to Sun)

11am to 8pm (weekends and busy days)

Wray Crescent (children's playground) (one unisex toilet)

11am to 7pm (Mon to Sun)

Foxham Gardens (children's playground) (one unisex accessible toilet)

8.30 to 6.30pm (Mon to Sun)


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

Birth, death, marriage and citizenship services

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

We are now able to book new marriage and civil partnership ceremonies until the end of 2022. Please visit the Say I do website to book your ceremony.
We have had to temporarily suspend our identity checking service for those applying for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

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

You can continue to order copies of certificates online and they will be posted to you.

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.

Rubbish, recycling and assisted bulky waste services

Bulky waste collections

Assisted bulky waste collections and bulky waste reuse collections have been suspended until further notice. 

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

How to get rid of reusable bulky items

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 wide range of household waste items.

Strict social distancing measures are in place to ensure the safety of residents and staff. Please wear a face covering at the site, 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 and are available from libraries as they reopen. 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 open. 


Islington Schools

All primary and secondary schools in Islington welcomed children and young people back to learning in the classroom on Monday 8 March, when it became mandatory for all pupils to attend again.

Schools are the best place for children and young people to develop, learn and get their studies back on track and are also crucial for their overall wellbeing and development. That's why children’s safe return to the classroom has been prioritised.

Please help us keep our schools safe

To help protect ourselves, our families, our schools and everyone in our community, it's essential that we all continue to pull together and follow public health advice to:

  • Wash your hands regularly– for 20 seconds, with soap and running water, especially before and after school, before and after eating, and after using a tissue or the toilet.
  • Wear a face covering in public places, including shops and on public transport.
  • Create space – stay 2 metres apart from people who are not from your household, particularly in public places. Please move away from the school as quickly as possible at drop off and pick up times, and please encourage older children to come straight home from school.
  • Stay away from school if you or your child have symptoms (or someone in your household does) and arrange to get a test.

Making our schools as safe as they can be

Our schools, together with local public health teams, have made careful plans which prioritise the safety of all staff, children and their families ahead or the return to the classroom.

Schools have some new measures in place to create safer environments in schools, including testing and mask wearing. These new measures are different for primary and secondary schools. Parents and carers should contact their child’s school for more information about testing, mask wearing and other measures being put in place to keep their school safe. You can also check our guides and factsheets on:

Travel safely

Please walk, cycle or scoot to school if you can, rather than taking public transport.

Please see TFL’s website for travel advice for school children using public transport to get to school.

Find out more

You can contact your school with any questions. Your School Nurse is also happy to talk to you about any concerns, for example if you are from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic group or if there are grandparents or vulnerable family members at home.

You can also, email School nurses or ring 020 3316 8021.

Transport and Travel

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

The 812 bus service is not running during the current emergency but 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.


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