The threat is not over - read the latest on lockdown

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Message from the Mayor

As many of you will be aware, last night Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation to outline the government's plan to take small steps towards easing some of the lockdown restrictions in England. He also announced a COVID-19 alert system to measure the level of threat of the virus.

While this signals a step in the right direction, it is very clear the threat is not over and we must not be complacent. 

London has already seen the biggest impact of this virus and sadly many in our own community have lost loved ones. That threat hasn’t gone away and we are working with other London councils as well as Public Health England to keep our residents safe as the response moves into its next phase.

It is still very important that people stay home unless necessary to go out for specific reasons highlighted in the updated social distancing guidelines. These include:

  • For work, where you cannot work from home.
  • Going to shops that are permitted to be open – to get things like food and medicine, and to collect goods ordered online or on the phone.
  • To exercise or, from Wednesday 13 May, spend time outdoors for recreation.
  • Any medical need, to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.

From this Wednesday, some of the limits on outdoor activity will be lifted and people will be able to spend time outdoors to exercise or to enjoy the sun alone or with members of their household. However, again - it is essential that social distancing is not forgotten. If you do decide to go outside or visit one of our parks, please stay two metres from those around you, follow the rules in place and be respectful to staff and volunteers as they work to keep everyone safe.

We plan to update you further on any local changes in the coming days. In the meantime, please read the government advice and what you can and cannot do FAQs.

Please note, there is further advice for those who:

  • Are at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus.
  • Need to self-isolate because they have, or someone in their household has, symptoms of coronavirus.

Finally, everyone must remember that the lockdown, and the period of risk, is not over. Staying home as much as possible continues to be the best way to protect yourself and others by stopping the spread of the virus.

Stay safe, 

Mayor John Biggs

work place

We’re here for businesses as they get back to work

We know that many business owners and employers will have listened to the Prime Minister's announcement on Sunday evening and will be considering how they might reopen their business in the coming days and weeks.

The government will be issuing further sector-specific advice this week with a focus on how workplaces can be made 'covid secure'. We appreciate how challenging this period is for organisations of all sizes and we are here to help. Our teams will keep our support for business page updated with the latest advice and information as it is published.

In the meantime, we are asking business owners and employers to keep several considerations in mind.

Things to consider >


Registrations are open for holiday childcare in May

If you are a key worker or have vulnerable children and need childcare for the next school holidays in late May, you can apply for our holiday childcare scheme.

Our scheme is Ofsted registered and provides fun activities for children who are 3 - 13 years old at locations in Bethnal Green and Shadwell.

Bookings are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis and will close at 1pm on Tuesday 19 May.

Book online > 

Domestic abuse support

Specialist support is available for domestic abuse victims

If you or someone you know is suffering domestic abuse or at risk, help is still available and you are not alone.

Domestic abuse includes psychological, physical, sexual, economical or emotional abuse.

Remember, in an emergency always call 999. If you’re in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and then press 55. This will transfer your call to local police who will assist you without having to speak.

If you are concerned that a friend or neighbour is experiencing domestic abuse, always call 999 in an emergency, otherwise call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to report it anonymously.

We are committed to protecting the support we give to victims of domestic abuse in Tower Hamlets. We also want to reassure you that you do not need to stay at home if you need to escape domestic abuse.

Get local support >

Stay Home

How are your neighbours experiencing lockdown?

A fantastic video has been shared by residents on social media looking at the lockdown experiences of people in Tower Hamlets.  

The messages of hope and support remind us how lucky we are to live and work in such a fantastic community. A very well done to all involved, especially the creative editor who put the video together. 

For more incredible stories of how individuals, organisations and the council are coming together to respond to this crisis, check out #TowerHamletsTogether on social media.

Watch video on Facebook >

Mayor PPE

We have delivered 150,000 items of PPE in Tower Hamlets

Mayor John Biggs recently visited our PPE distribution unit to help supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline council staff, external service providers and individuals with caring responsibilities.  

We have now delivered more than 150,000 items of PPE to safeguard residents, frontline staff such as care workers, and maintain essential services.

There has been an unprecedented level of demand and changes in PPE requirements as a result of coronavirus, and we are working hard to ensure we can meet demand and see the borough through the pandemic.

Read more >


Have a safe and healthy Ramadan

We hope that those who are observing Ramadan are having a happy and safe fasting period. We understand that as a result of the pandemic, this year's Ramadan has been a significantly different experience.

Please remember that it is vital that you continue to follow social distancing guidance throughout Ramadan to protect yourself and others.

Information and advice can be found on our website with links to resources from the Muslim Council of Britain, as well as online talks and live prayer broadcasts from the East London Mosque.

Ramadan at home guidance >

Coronavirus: useful links

Thank you for reading

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Updates in other languages

If you know someone who would like to receive updates in Bengali, they can subscribe to 'Bengali newsletter' for news and advice in Bengali. 

The government is also publishing advice in a range of languages on its website.