As part of measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the government has announced that from Friday (20 March 2020) UK schools will close until further notice. There will be spaces made available for the children of key workers and other eligible children to remain in school.
Ealing Council has also announced temporary closure of the borough’s libraries, leisure centres, Hanwell Zoo and community centres.
All current library loans will be extended until 30 April, with late return fines waived until that date. All library cards that are due to expire will now run until 31 August. The council will review these dates over the coming weeks.
The council’s Home Library Service, which delivers books to your home every month if you are unable to visit your local library, will continue but start to operate on a no-contact model. The council will consider expanding this service if the national social distancing policy continues beyond current expectations.
Online library membership will continue to offer the full range of online resources. New members will be able to access the full range of online resources and eBooks with their ‘unregistered’ number without the need to physically attend a library for activation.
The council has also had to take the decision to close all housing hubs but will continue to offer an online and a telephone service.
All non-essential council meetings for the coming weeks have also been cancelled, including ward forums.
Councillor Jasbir Anand is Ealing Council’s lead member for business and community services. She said: “Our thoughts are with all the people who are suffering as a result of Covid-19.
“During this international crisis, it is vital that we divert our precious resources to where they are most needed. Our libraries will be reopened as soon as possible.
“Crucial council services are working normally and our priority remains to care for our elderly and vulnerable residents. We have robust contingency plans in place to ensure that we can continue to deliver these vital services over the coming months.
“Please check trusted sources including the council and central government websites to make sure you have the latest information on coronavirus.”
Online library services are available via the council’s website.