School updates and tell us about your lockdown experiences

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Message from the Mayor

The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly had an unprecedented impact on our daily lives. But there are some challenges we all have in common, and others that may be affecting some residents more than others.

As some of the strict measures introduced in March slowly begin to ease, it's an interesting time to reflect upon the changes we have experienced.

We have launched a survey to help us better understand the impact it has had on Tower Hamlets residents. This will help us plan our services so that we can respond to the specific issues faced by our communities and provide support on the road ahead. Some of you may have noticed some positives to come out of the situation, such as a rise in community spirit and togetherness - we want to hear these perspectives too. If you can spare 10 - 15 minutes, please complete our online survey as soon as you can.

Yesterday afternoon, Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined the next steps towards reducing lockdown restrictions in England - you can read or watch the announcement for full details. 

  • From Monday 1 June, up to six people will be allowed to meet outside, provided those from different households continue to stay two metres apart. These new guidelines will also allow families or friends to meet in gardens and private outdoor spaces, as long as social distancing is observed.
  • From Monday, some of the limits on retail will start to ease, including outdoor markets. In Tower Hamlets, we are taking a staggered approach to ensure safety measures are in place and we can operate safely. 
  • Similarly, many nurseries and schools will begin to open for more pupils soon, however most will not open immediately and they will only consider increasing numbers of pupils when it has been agreed that it is safe to do so.

While these steps will bring relief to many of us and signal a step in the right direction, please remember the threat remains and we must not be complacent.  

With sunny weather forecast for this weekend, many people will be heading out to enjoy our borough's wonderful parks and green spaces. I urge you to continue to be considerate of others, stay two metres away from anyone you don't live with, and wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you get back home. 

Stay safe,

Mayor John Biggs


We want to hear about your experience

Today, we have launched a survey so we can better understand the impact the pandemic is having on you and your family. 

We want to hear from as many of you as possible so that we can provide support in ways that matter most to you moving forward.

Please share your thoughts and experiences by Wednesday 17 June.

Share your thoughts >

Royal London

Local hospital features in powerful new BBC series

BBC reporter Clive Myrie recently spent a week at the Royal London Hospital to capture the impact of coronavirus on staff, patients, families and communities.

The powerful footage shown in the 'Coronavirus frontline' series gives us a glimpse of the amazing work carried out by NHS workers and the support from faith leaders, such as the Muslim Chaplain Imam Faruq Siddiqi, in our local hospital.  

Watch the video >


Support for those who are 'shielding' at home

The government is currently still asking people to 'shield' until the end of June. If you've had a letter from the NHS advising you to stay at home and avoid all face to face contact, it's important that you continue to follow this specific advice. 

We understand this is a very difficult period and there is support available to help you manage staying at home. This includes help with getting essentials, medication, staying active and looking after your wellbeing.

If you've been identified at high risk by the NHS, please ensure you are registered with the government support website.

Shielding advice >

Shadwell Basin do not swim

Do not swim in Shadwell Basin - it's not worth the risk

We remind residents that swimming in Shadwell Basin is strictly forbidden.

With temperatures rising, it might look tempting to take a dip during the hot weather, but it is extremely dangerous. Sadly, people have drowned in this basin in recent years. 

Enforcement officers regularly patrol the area to help ensure people are doing the right thing. Anyone swimming in the basin will be in breach of our by-laws. Please read the signs and stay out of the water.

Learn about water safety >

school boy

A safe and responsible return to our nurseries and schools

Many nurseries and schools will begin to open for more pupils soon. Most will not open immediately on Monday 1 June, but when they consider it is safe to do so, using a phased approach, in the following weeks.

Like parents, we want to see local children back in school so that they can catch up on their learning, but only when education settings have put measures in place to ensure it's safe.

We are supporting all of our nurseries and schools, with public health experts, to understand and manage the risk of infection and develop options for a safe and responsible return.

Read more or get support >

Hadleigh Close

Firefighters safely evacuate residents from Hadleigh Close

The London Fire Brigade was called to reports of a large fire at a block of flats in Hadleigh Close, E1 in the early hours of Thursday morning. More than 100 residents were evacuated, and fortunately there were no serious injuries.

Council officers have worked with Tower Hamlets Homes to provide hotel accommodation to those who cannot access their homes. Residents in need of additional support should call 020 7265 8343 in the first instance. In addition, the Bancroft Tenant Management Cooperative office at 12 Wickford Street is open and staffed.

We would like to pay tribute to the firefighters, paramedics and police officers for their swift response and for their support to our residents during a challenging incident.

Find out more >

Stay at home reources

Bring the entertainment to you this weekend

It's not too late to pack in some fun activities to round off the half-term break! We have put together a whole host of resources to help you and your family stay happy, healthy and entertained while you're spending time at home. 

Why not end half-term on a high and learn how to bake a special treat together, or take the time to learn about different animals through a live zoo web cam? 

Or if that's not for you, there are plenty of resources available to suit everyone's interests.   

Visit activities >

Foot tunnel

Update on Greenwich Foot Tunnel restrictions

Greenwich Foot Tunnel will now stay open at weekends for essential journeys. Please remember, you must adhere to social distancing guidelines when using the tunnel, and keep to the left.

Greenwich Council will continue to monitor footfall using CCTV and if safety becomes an issue, may review the decision to keep the tunnel open. 

Tower Hamlets Council has been pushing for the tunnel to be reopened so we welcome this decision by Greenwich Council, which will help residents make local journeys.

Read more >

Coronavirus: useful links

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