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Essential service changes to help limit Coronavirus impact in Edinburgh

Posted: 25th March 2020
Changes to Council services and projects currently being delivered will come into effect today to help protect the public and workers during the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Changes follow national measures to limit the spread of the virus
  • These include the suspension of charges for parking bays and closing play parks
  • Council making efforts to deliver core services to residents

Measures follow new rules set by the UK Prime Minister and Scotland’s First Minister to limit the spread of the virus, advising that people should only leave home once a day for exercise, to shop for essential items or for medication and to travel to and from work if absolutely necessary.

Amongst preventative actions, we’ll be suspending charges for on-street parking bays to support key workers who are reliant on their private vehicles, closing play parks to discourage people from gathering and shutting down household waste and recycling centres.

Council Leader Adam McVey said:

“We’re making every effort to deliver the core services needed by residents in Edinburgh, but it’s crucial that we heed the new measures being implemented nationwide to ensure the health and safety of all those who live and work in the city. The message from Scotland’s First Minister and the UK Prime Minister is clear – people should stay in their homes unless it is absolutely necessary to go out for work, food or health reasons or to look after the vulnerable.

“We must encourage people to stay indoors to limit the spread of Coronavirus and by making changes like suspending parking pay and display charges we’re supporting key workers to continue delivering vital services to those that need it, while our decision to close recycling centres will reduce face-to-face contact between teams and members of the public across the city. It will also help us to redirect resources to support our wider waste collection service.

“This is, of course, an extraordinary situation and we are adapting to a constantly-changing landscape. There is no doubt that our services will face increasing pressure and I’d like to take this opportunity to call on the people of Edinburgh to help us to look after the city during these unprecedented times, by following our advice, taking responsibility for any litter if outside of the house and looking out for neighbours where possible.”

Depute Leader Cammy Day said:

“It’s essential that we support the country’s efforts to reduce the impact of the Coronavirus by following national guidance, staying indoors where possible and practising social distancing, and we need to make these changes to help facilitate that.

“We also rely on the public to help us to comply with new rules, and to limit the impact of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. I’d like to thank those who have taken such care to follow the guidance, as well as the many staff, partners and volunteers who have made sure vulnerable residents are safe – we will get through this together.”


Parking charges

From today charges for all on-street pay and display parking bays will be suspended until further notice. Yellow lines, loading bays, disabled parking places and car club places will continue to be enforced.

Waste and cleansing

Waste collections will continue as usual, other than blue box glass recycling collections, which were suspended on Monday.

Residents are reminded to follow advice on the safe disposal of waste should they or someone living in their household have symptoms that may be caused by Coronavirus, and do not require hospital treatment though must remain at home until they are well.

Household Waste and Recycling Centres are closed until further notice. Special uplifts and bin deliveries have also stopped. Find out more about suspended services online.

Street cleansing and litter bin collections will continue, but with a limited service. For this reason, the public are urged to help keep streets clean by disposing of litter responsibly – taking it home if bins are full – and cleaning up after dogs.

Parks and greenspaces

All play parks, mixed use games area courts, outdoor exercise equipment, skateparks and car parks associated with parks will be closed. Allotments will remain open though users are subject to national rules advising one trip outside of the home a day and to maintain social distancing.

Registration services

Birth registrations have been postponed until normal service resumes. We are awaiting the implementation of a national process to send notification of all births that have occurred in our area to National Records Scotland, who will in turn pass this information to Social Security Scotland to allow Child Benefit claims to be made.

Marriage and civil partnership registrations have been cancelled or postponed.

Death registrations are currently postponed and will move to a system of remote registration once introduced nationally. Until this process has been fully initiated we are gathering the information from families for input into the system. Full details are available online.


Taking account of industry and Government guidance, it is intended that numbers attending a funeral facilitated by the Council are 15 or less, limited to close family. Funeral directors working with families may identify other relations using their discretion. Full details are available online.

Key worker childcare arrangements

There will be 23 school buildings open and operating from tomorrow thanks to more than 1000 staff who are coming into work. From Friday, Queensferry Primary School will also open to provide support for families where both parents and carers fall within the key worker category and have no other possible childcare arrangements. Parents and carers will be contacted directly regarding the school their child should come along to. More details are available online.

Local Critical Resilience Centres

Local Critical Resilience Centres based in Wester Hailes, Pilton Gardens, Captain’s Road, Leith and Craigmillar provide a base for staff to provide welfare, housing and household support by phone and email. Customers are asked to attend in-person only if it is critical, for example if they are experiencing homelessness, threats to their wellbeing or require urgent cash payments. This will prioritise support for residents who face financial hardship. They will operate 10am – 4pm.

Public transport

Edinburgh Trams and Lothian Buses are keeping their customers up to date with information and service changes online and via their social media channels. Both companies are operating reduced services.

You can access a wide range of Council services at and report many concerns through the website. If you are experiencing an emergency or critical situation please call 0131 200 2000.

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