Covid-19 cases rise: Please avoid visiting other households in Tower Hamlets

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A message from the Mayor

I'd like to start by thanking all of you who continue to follow government guidelines. It's been a difficult six months which have had a huge impact on everyone, whether financially, emotionally or physically. 

Despite a fall over the summer, we are seeing cases of Covid-19 rise and we need to accept that the situation is once again worsening. Tower Hamlets now has one of the highest levels of Covid-19 in London. As a second rise in infections hits us, we must take all steps necessary to limit the spread of the virus and protect those most at risk.

Last week, the government announced new measures in an effort to control the virus. I can't stress enough the importance of following these rules.

While the virus is a threat to everyone, we know it has a higher impact on older and medically vulnerable residents, as well as on some Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups. We also know that young people are catching and spreading the virus in growing numbers.

The diverse communities in Tower Hamlets are what make our borough great, but it also means Tower Hamlets is at greater risk. Every single one of us must play our part to protect our communities and stop the virus spreading.

With this in mind, now is the time we must take further action. I am clear that the current national rules are a minimum and my advice to you all is to do everything in your power to protect each other. Our individual actions have consequences for us all. 

Alert symbol

In addition to the national measures, we're asking residents to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 locally. 

Many cases of Covid-19 in Tower Hamlets are as a result of people visiting other households, so we are asking residents to avoid this unless absolutely necessary.

This really is a matter of life and death and we need to act urgently.

The next few months will be very challenging. Without a vaccine or more effective treatment, our primary weapon against the virus is responsible behaviour. Measures to curb the spread of the virus will only work if people follow them.

If you haven't already, please download the NHS Covid-19 app now. The more of us who use the app, the more power we'll have to contain the virus locally and nationally. 

Please do your bit to keep Tower Hamlets safe. 

Mayor Biggs

Hands, face, space

Stick to the rules to stop the rise of Covid-19

As Covid-19 cases continue to rise, please make sure you stick to the rules to protect yourself and others.

  • You must not meet up in groups larger than six people indoors or outdoors in any social setting (with minimal exceptions). On top of the national rules, we are asking you to avoid visiting other people's homes in Tower Hamlets unless absolutely necessary.
  • Wash your hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water isn’t available, then use hand sanitiser.
  • Wear a face covering on public transport, in shops and other enclosed areas, or anywhere it is difficult to socially distance. This also now includes hospitality venues unless you are seated to eat or drink.
  • Keep a safe distance from other people outside your household (two metres where possible).
  • Book a free test now if you have symptoms of Covid-19 (a high temperature, new or continuous cough or a change/loss in your normal sense of taste or smell) and stay at home until you get your result.
  • Stay at home if you test positive for Covid-19 or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

A drive through mobile testing unit continues to operate in the borough (near Canary Wharf) with appointments available by visiting the NHS website or calling 119. This will be operating on Saturday 3 October, Tuesday 6 October and Friday 9 October. More dates for October will be available soon. 

Latest advice >

Murals on Aberfeldy Street

Check out Aberfeldy Street’s makeover

Have you seen the impressive murals on Aberfeldy Street in Poplar? The bright new look aims to support local businesses and was inspired by the Bangladeshi kantha tradition of recycling old textiles to make something new.

The photo above (courtesy of Ron Timehin) gives you a snapshot of the makeover, which was made possible thanks to partnership working between Poplar HARCA, EcoWorld London, Jan Kattein Architects, Meanwhile Space, London Mural Company, Accent London and Cuttle Construction. We think it’s absolutely brilliant!

Find out all about it in Our East End, and while you’re there, let us know your thoughts on our quarterly publication in our reader survey. We'd love to hear from you, and there's a £100 voucher up for grabs too.

Read Our East End >

BAME Inequalities Commission

Give your views on community leadership

Volunteer? Sports coach? School governor? Mentor? Our community leaders play a huge role in making our borough such a great place.

The Tower Hamlets Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Inequalities Commission’s first official meeting at 11am on 8 October focuses on community leadership. Commissioners want to hear your ideas and lived experiences on the subject, including what community leadership means to you, and how more people can be supported to take up positive leadership roles in their communities.

Get in touch >

Adoption campaign image

New #YouCanAdopt campaign launches

We have joined a coalition of adoption agencies nationwide, supported by the Department for Education, to encourage more people to consider adoption.  

In England, there are almost 3,000 children that need an adoptive family and the number of adoptions has fallen by a third in four years. The new #YouCanAdopt campaign will bust myths around who is eligible to adopt and explore what the adoption process involves. 

Read more >

Council worker speaking to a canal boat owner

Play your part in keeping our air clean

It's Clean Air Day next week and we need your help to make an impact. We're focusing on encouraging active travel, such as walking and cycling, and reducing vehicle idling and pollution from canal boats.

The campaign normally takes place in June but due to the pandemic, this year's Clean Air Day is Thursday 8 October and will be marked virtually. Everyone can play their part and make a difference!


We've joined forces with 30 other London authorities in a bid to cut dangerous vehicle emissions through the Idling Action Project. The #EnginesOff campaign asks businesses to pledge that their drivers and other employees will not leave their engines on when parked. As well as asking businesses to take part, our own drivers have taken the pledge and received extra training on pollution reduction.

Burning fuel on canal boats

To reduce pollution along the waterways and beyond, we're encouraging all canal boat users to use an exempt appliance if they wish to burn wood and coal in the Smoke Control Area. A list of approved appliances is available online. Residents can report smoke nuisance to the council at or by calling 020 7364 5008.

Free family cycle training

Bookings are now open for our free family cycle training, which will take place over the October half term break. Join Bikeworks for socially-distanced sessions with free sanitised bike and helmet hire available.

Book a place >

Holiday childcare scheme

Secure your place for holiday childcare

The Tower Hamlets Holiday Childcare Scheme will operate over the October half term – and now is the time to register. It will run from 8am - 6pm, Monday 26 to Friday 30 October at St Mary and St Michael Primary School.

Registration opens on Monday 5 October for working parents and carers in the borough. If you're a resident and receive working tax credit, you may qualify for a subsidised rate.

Details and apply >


Want to quit smoking?

It's Stoptober! Join millions of people across the UK and quit smoking for 28 days.

Local stop smoking advisors, Quit Right Tower Hamlets, can help you create your own quitting plan, give advice on nicotine replacement therapies and how to use them. They can also offer support throughout your quitting journey.

Quit now >

Petticoat Lane Market sign

Funding for works in Wentworth Street

The Petticoat Lane market area will receive more than £600,000 worth of investment after being named a High Street Heritage Action Zone.

Working with Historic England, the funding aims to restore shop fronts and the Victorian public toilets.

Find out more >

Support for people self-isolating

Remember, Covid-19 support is available

If you need to self-isolate because of the virus, we're here to help. Our dedicated support line is still open to help residents with deliveries of food and medication, and our network of volunteers can help with shopping, advice on finances and keeping you socially connected. 

It's more important than ever to self-isolate if you're told to. Remember, failing to do so is now illegal and you could face a fine. 

Get support >

Covid champions

Sign up to be a champion and help others!

If you'd like to help others, why not sign up to be one of our Covid-19 community champions? As a champion, you will receive regular updates on Covid-19 by text message, WhatsApp, email or in live webinars. You can then share them with family, friends and people in your community.

Be a champion > 

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