We continue to provide essential services for residents, as well as support the most vulnerable members of the community.
The government roadmap out of lockdown will help us get back to the things we love.
Check all of the details on the government's roadmap to ease restrictions on GOV.UK.
Read the latest changes to council services and summer events programme (10 May) following the most recent government announcement on the road to recovery.
Updated: 17 May 2021
We update the service information below as soon as information becomes available:
Benefits and financial support
We have help, support and guidance for those finding it difficult to pay their Council Tax instalments.
From 12 April 2021, all recovery actions will resume following government guidance.
Housing Benefit changes
The government has made some changes to Housing Benefit to support people through coronavirus. These include increasing the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) and the additional earnings disregard.
Find out more about the Housing Benefit changes.
More information and make a claim for Housing Benefit.
If you're not eligible to claim Housing Benefit, you may be able to claim Universal Credit to help with your housing costs.
Council Tax Reduction – help to pay Council Tax
If you're on a low income you may be eligible to claim Council Tax Reduction.
Discretionary Housing Payments
If you receive Housing Benefit or housing costs within Universal Credit, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment if you’re suffering extreme hardship.
If the NHS Test and Trace Service has told you to self-isolate you may be able to get some financial help.
Find out more about the NHS Test and Trace support payment scheme.
Bin collections, waste and recycling
If your item is too bulky to fit into a normal rubbish bin and is heavier than 25kg, you can book a bulky collection.
Due to COVID-19, we're unable to enter a property to collect an assisted bulky waste booking. We can only collect items at the kerbside.
Capstone, Cuxton and Hoath Way household waste and recycling centres are open. You'll need to book an appointment to visit the sites.
Births, marriages and deaths
The Crematorium grounds are open for mourners, funeral services and for the scattering of ashes.
Our reception area is closed to the public but you can make enquiries and payments by phone, email or post.
We are offering 60 minute service slots at Medway Crematorium chapels.
The East Chapel will start on the hour, with the West Chapel starting at half past the hour.
All 4 of our cemeteries are open.
Funerals and cremations are going ahead as planned.
Up to 30 people can attend a funeral at the cemeteries.
There is no limit to people attending a graveside funeral at all cemeteries.
Up to 50 people can attend a funeral at Medway Crematorium.
If you attend a funeral or cremation, or visit a cemetery you must follow government guidance on social distancing.
We’re sorry if you have lost a loved one during this difficult time. We understand you may have concerns around social distancing at a funeral.
We have put a number of measures in place to help keep you safe. This includes placing chairs two metres apart at our services.
We also offer live streaming of funerals for those who are unable to attend in person. We have dropped all charges for the video streaming service during this time.
If you need to register a death that occurred in Medway, you no longer need to attend the register office in person. We are now accepting registrations by phone. Contact us on 01634 338 998 to make your phone appointment.
Find out how to register a death in Medway
If you or someone you know has suffered a bereavement, there is bereavement support available.
Our registration service is open including Medway Register Office.
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can now take place in some venues. Up to 30 people can attend a ceremony.
Registrations are open. You need to book an appointment to register the birth.
Following the government's latest announcements, our Rochester and Gillingham centres have re-opened.
Our facilities are COVID-secure, and have been reviewed against the latest guidance from the Department of Education and Skills. Our classrooms are set up to maintain social distancing for learners and staff. You will need to wear a face covering in our centres.
If you have any questions, please do not phone the centre. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and our admin team will get back to you as quickly as possible.
Thank you for your understanding and patience during this time.
Following the Prime Minister's announcement on 22 February 2021, schools re-opened on 8 March.
Read more on the COVID-19 advice for schools page.
Medway Test results were sent on Monday 2 November 2020. For more information about the test results and what you can do next, including the Medway Test review process, visit our next steps page.
Health, housing and social care
Medway Adoption team welcomes new enquiries, and during this difficult time we'll do our best to respond quickly to these.
If you have specific questions about the adoption process and your situation contact us by email at email@example.com or phone 01634 335 676.
Your interest in adoption is really important to us and very much appreciated. The situation is changing daily and we'll aim to keep you informed about any changes using our adoption pages and Facebook page.
There is a range of support available for Medway residents.
Find out about Coronavirus (COVID-19) Medway support.
Kingsley House is open for appointments only.
- Monday to Thursday: 9am to 5pm
- Friday: 9am to 4.45pm
Our telephone lines are open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Or find the information you need online.
We are not currently taking cash and cheques at Kingsley House using the automated till. Please use a different payment method during this time.
We are working with partners to find accommodation solutions for people currently sleeping rough.
Where possible this will be self contained to maximise the number of people able to self isolate if they show symptoms of COVID-19.
This will be aimed at people with pre-existing health conditions and may place them at additional risk if they become infected. We have received funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) to assist in this process.
Make sure you can include details of where the person sleeping rough was seen.
Repairs and maintenance
Currently our main priority is the wellbeing and safety of our residents, team members and contractors. The responsive repairs service is responding to emergency and urgent repairs only with routine repairs suspended. Gas repairs and servicing will continue as normal.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 then you will need to tell us this when reporting repairs.
If Mears are unable to carry out a repair to your property, you will be informed.
Repairs can be reported by phoning 01634 333 601 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Private Sector Housing Team
The Private Sector Housing Team is running an adapted service.
View the adapted service.
We have postponed the following services:
- Man V Fat football at Strood Sport Centre
- Nordic walking
- cycling groups
- walking groups
- Little Food Explorers
All our health and wellbeing services will continue to run.
If you have an appointment for a council health service, for example a health check or stop smoking appointment, it will still take place. Please do not cancel your appointment.
You can access a range of virtual support services.
View A Better Medway for more information.
You can still get help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have changed the services we offer in line with government advice.
Check details of each pest type for more details. Or call us on 01634 283 215 to discuss the treatment we can offer.
Our Children and Family Hubs are open will continue to run virtual activity sessions such as baby, bounce and rhyme.
More about family hubs.
We are working in partnership with Public Health England to provide a local contact tracing service as part of the wider national NHS Test and Trace programme.
More about local contact tracing
Our allotments are open.
Please follow government advice on social distancing, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Guildhall Museum and Rochester Castle Keep will reopen on Tuesday 18 May 2021.
Rochester Castle grounds remain open until 9pm.
Eastgate House in Rochester, Temple Manor in Strood, Upnor Castle in Rochester and the Old Brook Pumping Station in Chatham will remain closed.
Our libraries and community hubs are open with a reduced service.
- browse and borrow our books
- use our click and collect service for caddy liners, dog waste bags, radar keys and electricity cards. You can also buy these in person.
- use our reservations services
- collect reusable recycling bags
- have limited access to public computers
The Medway Archives Centre will be open by appointment only from 12 April.
The mobile library is closed.
More about community hubs and libraries.
The Guildhall Museum and the Visitor Centre, including Rochester Art Gallery will reopen on Tuesday 18 May 2021.
Capstone Country Park and Riverside Country Park are open as usual.
The car parks are open.
The cafes are open 7 days a week from 10am to 6pm, with outdoor seating available. Toilets are open until the cafe closes.
Children's play areas are open.
Outdoor gyms are open in line with government advice.
When using the equipment please take the following measures:
- do not eat or drink within the play area
- use hand sanitiser to clean children's hands before and after play
Snodhurst Bottom pitch and putt in Walderslade Road has now reopened.
More about parks and green spaces.
Fishing is currently allowed at Capstone Country Park. Find out how to book a day ticket.
Please do not organise group litter pick events. Although we appreciate your help in keeping Medway clean, we want to ensure you're staying safe.
Please follow government advice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Non-essential traders are returning to our markets.
Gillingham Market trades in the High Street every Monday and Saturday from 9am to 4pm.
Rochester Farmers Market takes place every Sunday from 9am to 1pm in Blue Boar Lane Car Park.
You can attend:
- outdoor activities including
- outdoor fitness classes
- gym sessions
- pool sessions and swimming lessons
- sports halls for pre-booked and restricted activities.
You must pre-book all sessions.
From 17 May 2021 you can also attend indoor group fitness classes.
More about sports centres.
All shows at The Brook and Central Theatres in Chatham are postponed.
The Brook Theatre box office will reopen from Monday 17 May 2021, including room hire.
All children's classes resume on a reduced and socially distanced basis.
The Central Theatre in Chatham remains closed.
You can still buy theatre tickets for future shows online, including next year’s Panto, and browse future shows at Medway Tickets Live or by phoning 01634 338 338.
Find out more information about cancelled and rescheduled theatre shows including what to do if your theatre event is cancelled.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) Medway Youth Service have limited group session spaces for all programmes. Participants must in advance and follow social distancing guidance.
We will continue to offer online group activities for young people aged 11 to 18 (and up to 25 for those with additional needs) including drawing, Minecraft, anime, media and filmmaking, Dungeons and Dragons style roleplaying games as well as general fun and games sessions.
Find out more about online youth sessions.
Travel and transport
You can apply for or renew a Blue Badge, but due to the current situation our processing time may take longer than usual. Find out more about Blue Badges and coronavirus.
Parking charges have been suspended for all NHS staff and social care workers in Medway during the coronavirus pandemic.
Our car parks and parking bays can be used for free by NHS staff and social care workers.
We have provided social care workers with parking permits to be used when they are out in communities supporting residents.
All our public toilets are open.
For travel information visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 2233
Face coverings on public transport
You must wear face covering when you travel on public transport, including MY Buses. Find out more on GOV.UK.
Arriva, ASD Coaches, Farleigh Coaches and Redroute are operating normal timetables.
National Express is operating an amended timetable. emergency timetable.
Stagecoach Express M2 service has been withdrawn.
See refund updates for MY Buses
Southeastern trains are running a reduced timetable.
Your council, democracy and the Mayor
Some council meetings have been cancelled.
Check the meetings calendar for details.
The Police and Crime Commissioner elections, which were due to be held in May 2020, are now taking place on 6 May 2021.
Our Electoral Services team continues to process applications to register to vote.
However, it may take the team a little longer than usual to respond to your emails to email@example.com.
In line with government advice, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are only attending online events.