Stay safe outdoors, advice for businesses and vulnerable residents + festival fun at home

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Message from the Mayor

I hope you’ve been enjoying the warm weather safely even though we can’t gather for some of our most important community events.

Due to coronavirus, flagship festivals like the Boishakhi Mela and Pride cannot take place this year but we’re working with organisers and promoting online events to help you mark these occasions and enjoy the summer safely at home. This weekend we also pay tribute to the dedication and sacrifices of our Armed Forces community – read more below about how to show your support online.

More businesses will reopen from next Saturday (4 July) but we all must continue to protect ourselves and each other by staying local, practicing good hygiene and wearing a face covering in busy places and on public transport. 

I recently recorded a video message outlining how we can all work together to get back to business safely and heard from residents about their queries and concerns at Tuesday's first ever online Ask The Mayor event. We covered a great range of topics – thanks to those who joined me and a reminder to give us your feedback if you haven't already.

We continue to reopen facilities when it’s safe to do so but please remain patient and keep your distance from others so we can all enjoy our parks and open spaces safely. I know it’s difficult and many people, including me, are beginning to feel a little fed up with the restrictions but they are there for a reason – and although the rules are now a bit more relaxed, in other parts of the world fresh waves of the virus have struck when people have relaxed too quickly. Don’t let this happen here.  

It's really important we all keep following the guidance. Please read about what you can and cannot do, and what's changing in the coming weeks. 

Although the weather is set to cool in the coming days, we urge everyone to avoid bathing in canals or rivers. It's prohibited for a reason – there are hidden dangers under the surface of the water and very sadly people have lost their lives swimming in the Shadwell Basin in recent years.

Remember that if you or anyone in your household has a high temperature, new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, you must isolate at home, visit the NHS website for advice and get a test as soon as possible.

Stay safe,

Mayor Biggs

Social distancing in shops

Getting back to business safely

In line with government guidelines, many businesses and market traders are slowly returning to business, with more premises permitted to reopen from Saturday 4 July.

You can support the borough’s traders by shopping local, wearing a face covering in busy areas and keeping your distance from others to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Small businesses and market traders who missed out on government support can apply for funding from our Discretionary Grants Scheme before midday on Monday 6 July.

Guidance for businesses >

Shielding advice

Updated guidance for vulnerable residents

The government has announced new guidance for people who are shielding, which will come into effect from Monday 6 July.

The changes include being able to spend time with up to six people outside your household and being able to form a ‘support bubble’ if you live alone or are a single parent. Within your support bubble, you can meet indoors as well as outdoors, be less than two metres apart and stay overnight.

If the infection rate continues to be lower, it’s likely that shielding will be paused at the end of July. As shielding is lifted, it’s vital that you continue to follow strict social distancing to protect yourself from coronavirus.

Guidance for shielding > 

Mela 2019 parade

Enjoy the Mela at home

The Boishakhi Mela, one of our biggest cultural events, was due to take place this weekend – but the fun can still continue safely at home.

Our arts and events team have opened the archives to offer you a chance to relive the spectacular festival online. Enjoy performances from 2018 and 2019 with Bangladeshi music stars, including Mumzy Stranger, Chirkutt and Belly Afroz, and much more!

Mela fun at home >

Housing image

Crackdown on unlicensed landlords

We’ve helped tenants claim back more than £100,000 from rogue landlords in the past year.

The money was recovered using rent repayment orders that allow the council and tenants to get back up to 12 months’ rent from landlords who fail to license properties when they are required to do so.

Landlords caught letting unlicensed properties can face prosecution, a criminal conviction or an unlimited fine. Unlicensed landlords are also severely limited in their ability to take eviction proceedings against tenants.

Find out more >


Improving transport links in the east of the borough

We want to improve connectivity between different areas of the borough and make it easier to walk and cycle.

Our planning team would like to hear your ideas on how to improve connections and increase the number of journeys taken by cycling and walking around the A12 and Bow Creek.

Help shape the future of the area by sharing your views and ideas in our interactive map before Sunday 12 July.

Have your say >

Pride 2020

Pride Month goes on(line)

Pride celebrations have gone online this year, with events ranging from poetry and short films to live singing and comedy nights. We have partnered with the East London Out Partnership (ELOP) to bring you events throughout June and July, and there's two more coming up:

  • Wednesday 1 July, 7pm – Laugh and lounge: comedy night
  • Friday 10 July, 7.30pm – Virtual party featuring dance, live singing and a choir

We know it's disappointing that events like Pride in London can't take place as planned this weekend, but urge you to celebrate safety at home and continue to follow the government advice on meeting up with friends and family. 

Join Pride online >

Marking Armed Forces Day

Paying tribute to the Armed Forces community

Armed Forces Day on Saturday 27 June is a chance to show your support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets.

Although events can't go ahead as planned, you can still show your support from home and post on social media to #SaluteOurForces.

We're flying the flag at our Town Hall to mark the important day and pay tribute to the hard work, dedication and sacrifices made by our Armed Forces to keep us safe.

Read more >

Coronavirus: useful links

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Updates in other languages

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