Welcome back to Idea Stores, eat out to help out, wear a face covering and more

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Book a Covid-19 test if you have symptoms

NHS Test and Trace is a national programme working to make sure that anyone who develops Covid-19 symptoms can be tested quickly. It also helps trace recent contacts of anyone who tests positive and if necessary, notify them so that they can stay at home and help stop the spread of the virus.

It is an essential feature of efforts to keep Tower Hamlets safe and drive down the rates of infection and transmission.

Mobile testing units are operating in the borough and are another way to get tested, alongside ordering a home testing kit. A mobile unit will be based near Canary Wharf on Thursday 23 and Wednesday 29 July.

If you have symptoms of Covid-19, please book a test immediately.

Book a test >

Eat out to help out

Eat Out to Help Out: Registration now open for businesses

If you own a restaurant, pub or café in Tower Hamlets, you may be able to register for the government's Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.

The scheme will enable you to offer a discount to diners to encourage them to eat out and support your business.

You can register if your establishment:

  • sells food for immediate consumption on the premises
  • provides its own dining area or shares a dining area with another establishment for eat-in meals
  • was registered as a food business with the council on or before Tuesday 7 July.

If this is you, don’t forget to sign up.

Find out more >

Face coverings

Face coverings are a shopping essential 

A reminder that face coverings will be required in all shops (including supermarkets) from Friday 24 July. This is in addition to public transport, where you are already required to wear a face covering.

People are also strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in other enclosed public spaces or where social distancing may be more difficult.

Wearing a face covering will help us all to protect each other and contain the spread of the virus as more premises are reopening.

Both the government and the BBC have put together simple guides on how to make your own face covering using material you have at home, such as a scarf, bandana or old t-shirt.

Full guidance >

Idea Store Whitechapel

Welcoming you back to Idea Stores

Our Idea Stores team have been working really hard so we can start to welcome back visitors.

We’re pleased to let you know that from today, we have started to resume some services from our Idea Store at Chrisp Street. This Friday (24 July), we'll reopen at Whitechapel too.

Please note, our opening hours and services available have been reduced and you'll need to book your visit.

Book your visit >

Support with funding for study image

Could you get further education funding support?

Are you starting a new education or training course in September but struggling to find financial support? The Tower Hamlets and Canary Wharf Further Education Trust provides grants of up to £6,000 to support those in the greatest need.

Find out more about the scheme and if you could benefit from the support available.

More about grants >

Summer activities

There's so much to do this summer 

School holidays are here and we have loads of activities to keep kids, families and teens busy throughout – and better yet most of our events are absolutely free!

So whether it's an online photography workshop or music production lessons, there's something for everyone. Safety is our priority and all events are virtual or socially distanced.

What's on? >

Summer reading challenge

Take on our Summer Reading Challenge

The Silly Squad Summer Reading Challenge is coming to our Idea Stores and this year's event is celebrating happiness, fun and laughter.

Why not encourage your children to join the Silly Squad as they get up to all sorts of mischief and mayhem in some of the best books around? Children taking part can borrow books from our eLibrary for free.

Take the challenge >

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