⚠️ Covid-19: London moves to 'high' risk ⚠️ New rules from Friday night ⚠️

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Message from the Mayor

Cases of Covid-19 are continuing to rise and in our borough we still have one of the highest levels of the virus in London.

In response, it has been announced today that London will be classed as ‘high’ risk (or ‘tier 2’) under the government’s new Covid-19 local alert system.

This includes Tower Hamlets and means we all must again do things differently to protect ourselves and our community.

On top of the current rules, from midnight on Friday:

  • You must not socialise with anybody outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
  • You must not socialise in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or park.
  • You can travel if you need to for work, school or to visit public places in line with the rules, but you should reduce the number of journeys you make and avoid public transport if you can.

Please be assured that schools, early years settings, colleges and universities remain open.

We knew that household mixing was a way Covid-19 has been spreading and that’s why we’d already been advising against this in Tower Hamlets. This will now be mandatory and while I know these restrictions are difficult, I can’t stress enough the importance of following the rules.

I want to ensure our residents are informed about what they need to do to reduce the spread and keep everyone safe, so please share this email with your friends and family in Tower Hamlets. We will also be writing to households in our borough to provide this update. 

The coming months will continue to be challenging but together we’ll remain resilient and get through this. Please read the latest Covid-19 advice on our website and contact us if you need support. Do also stay in touch with people you know who may be finding today’s news difficult, and remember that mental health and wellbeing support is available.

Stay safe,

Mayor Biggs

Local Covid Alert Level: High - explanation of restriction is different types of settings.

Get up to speed on the new Covid-19 local alert system

The government’s Covid-19 local alert system classifies areas as medium, high or very high based on their numbers of infection and risk level.

London is now moving to ‘high’, which means households cannot mix indoors. This includes visiting other homes and mixing with other households in places like restaurants, bars or cafes. You should also minimise journeys and work from home if you can. Schools remain open and are safe for children to attend, with extensive safety measures in place.

Although it’s colder and the nights are longer, if you plan on visiting our parks to socialise outside as a group of up to six people, please respect our park staff, volunteers and other visitors. Be responsible (especially if you are cycling), keep your distance and take your litter home with you.

You can find out more about the new restrictions online. There is also a postcode search tool to check the latest advice by area.

Local updates >

Hands face space - protect yourself from coronavirus

Remember the basics to help tackle Covid-19

In addition to the new measures that come with being in a high risk area, we must continue to take every step we can to stay safe. Please remember to:

  • Wash your hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not 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. 
  • Keep a safe distance from other people outside your household (two metres where possible). 
  • Book a free test if you’re experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 and stay at home until you get your result.  
  • Stay at home if you test positive for 10 days from when symptoms started. This includes while symptomatic and waiting to arrange a test. 
  • Self-isolate if you’re identified as a close or recent contact of someone who has tested positive through NHS Test and Trace. 

Everyone has a part to play to keep themselves, their family and friends and the wider community safe. 

NHS advice >

Park staff posing in front of the lake with their green flag

Green Flag Awards for our borough's parks

Twelve parks and green spaces in Tower Hamlets have raised their Green Flags with pride in celebration of this year’s Green Flag Awards.

The scheme is managed by Keep Britain Tidy to recognise and reward well-managed parks and green spaces and set the benchmark across the UK and around the world.

Yesterday, Victoria Park’s fountain was illuminated green, as were buildings and landmarks across the country, to celebrate this year’s Green Flag Awards and to say a massive thank you to parks staff, volunteers and award judges for their work this year.

Flying the green flag >

Dabirul Rahman smiling

Local people celebrated in Queen's Birthday Honours 

Congratulatory messages have been pouring in for people from Tower Hamlets who have been recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list for their work and services to the borough and beyond.

This includes Dabirul Islam Choudhury (pictured above), who inspired us all with his fundraising efforts earlier this year and Bow-born rapper Dizzee Rascal, who features on the cover of Our East End.

Education and health professionals, a farm director and people working hard to support our communities are also amongst this year’s recipients. Congratulations to all those honoured!

Read more >

Rich Mix building

Financial boost for arts groups

Thirty-three venues and cultural organisations in Tower Hamlets have between them received a total of almost £5 million in funding distributed by Arts Council England. The funding comes as part of the government’s Culture Recovery Fund, which is supporting arts organisations facing challenges due to the pandemic.

Local recipients include: Rich Mix, which has been awarded nearly £1m; Chisenhale Dance Space; Wilton’s Music Hall; Chisenhale Gallery, Cardboard Citizens Theatre Company, which works with and for homeless people; and Numbi Somali Arts, one of the organisations we are supporting as part of our Black History Month events programme.

Find out more >

Graphic on womens side profile

Supporting a new Women’s Network

We’re proud to be supporting our voluntary and community sector (VCS) partners to establish a new Women’s Network, in response to women’s inequality issues that have been further impacted by Covid-19.

The network aims to represent the voice of local women and girls, through frontline workers, volunteers and others working directly with women and girls. The network will also be a place to share information, good practice and make connections to bring about change.

The first network meeting takes place on Tuesday 20 October from 10am - 12pm.

If you work with a local women’s VCS organisation or with a women’s project in a wider VCS organisation, please contact Hilary at vcs@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Women with distressed face looking away from the camera

Mental health discussion this Saturday 

As part of our Black History Month programme, we're supporting an online mental health workshop led by the Women’s Inclusive Team.

The event will be held on Saturday 17 October and will delve into some of the challenges women of colour and their families may face, exploring preventative approaches to ensure good mental health.

Participants can explore the early signs, prevention, negative language and how we can all play our part in improving the wellbeing of our communities.

The workshop is designed for anyone who identifies as female and is from a black, indigenous or minority ethnic community.

Book your place >

Graphic of a online call on a laptop

How are schools in Tower Hamlets managing Covid-19?

On Tuesday we held a live question and answer session on how schools in the borough are managing Covid-19, and what families can do to protect themselves, others and the community.

The online event included an update on the situation in Tower Hamlets, how to spot the difference between symptoms of Covid-19 and the common cold and flu and much more.

Watch a recording of the session online.

Safe at school advice >

Selective licensing consultation

Calling all landlords and tenants for consultation on renting

We are encouraging residents, landlords, businesses and services to have their say on renting in Tower Hamlets through our selective licensing consultation.

Selective licensing applies to all rented properties in Whitechapel, Weavers and Spitalfields and Banglatown wards, excluding those needing a licence under the mandatory licensing scheme. 

The consultation period ends on 13 December and your views will help shape our decision on whether to renew, alter, or extend the existing scheme.

Read more on our Let’s talk Tower Hamlets site, where we'll also be posting details of upcoming online information sessions.

Have your say >

Carer smiling and looking away from the camera and elderly people in the back sitting around a table

Support for unpaid carers

The Carers Centre Tower Hamlets is available to provide support for unpaid carers in the borough. The friendly team provides a range of services to help enhance the lives of carers, including information and advice, help with assessments and offering respite and activities. 

They also have a dedicated Royal London Hospital carers support coordinator, who can help with any queries if the person you care for is admitted to hospital. 

You can refer yourself online or contact Ayeda Zuba on 020 7790 1765 or at ayeda@ccth.org.uk

Refer online >

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