⚠️ New national restrictions in the fight against Covid-19 ⚠️

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Message from the Mayor

As many of you will have seen over the weekend, the government has announced new national restrictions to help stop the spread of Covid-19. 

This means that from Thursday 5 November, you must stay at home. There are a limited set of exemptions, including importantly, that schools will remain open.

The national restrictions come in response to cases of Covid-19 rising rapidly across the whole of the UK and in other countries. They are expected to be in place for four weeks (until 2 December).

We are working through the new rules to establish what they mean for council services, and we will be publishing updated advice for residents and businesses on our website as soon as further details are confirmed by government. We will also update you by email later this week as the situation becomes clearer.

New national restrictions from 5 November - details at www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november

The new restrictions include:

  • You must stay at home except for education, work (if it can't be done from home), exercise and recreation, medical reasons, shopping for food and other essentials, or to care for others 
  • You can leave home for any medical concerns, appointments and emergencies, or to avoid or escape risk of injury or harm - such as domestic abuse. The NHS is still open - please attend your existing medical appointments and contact your GP or NHS 111 as normal if you need support 
  • Schools, nurseries, colleges and universities will remain open - please continue to send your children to school
  • All non-essential shops will close, as will all pubs and restaurants (takeaways and deliveries can continue)
  • Outdoor exercise and recreation will be allowed, but gyms will close. Playgrounds will stay open
  • Households will not be allowed to mix with others indoors or in private gardens. Individuals can meet one person from outside their household in an outside public space
  • Support bubbles for people who live alone and households made up of single parents and children can continue
  • Places of worship will generally close but funerals, with a maximum of 30 people attending, individual prayer, and a few other activities will be allowed
  • Some workplaces can stay open if people cannot work from home - including construction and manufacturing
  • Those who are clinically vulnerable are advised not to go to work if they are unable to work from home. Further government advice will be released this week and people who may need to register for support or advice will be able to do online

We understand that coming to terms with another lockdown will be very difficult for our communities, and that it will come at a significant cost to local businesses that must close. We are pleased that the furlough scheme has been extended but it's clear more support is needed for families and businesses and we will continue to do whatever we can, and push government for this too.

I want to remind you that while these are tough times, the East End is even tougher. Our communities showed great resilience, courage and camaraderie during the first peak, and I have no doubt we will do so again.

As a council, we'll continue to work with our partners across the borough to make sure that our residents, particularly those most vulnerable, are supported. We are posting updates on social media using #TowerHamletsTogether, and we encourage you to do the same to help share positivity. 

I urge you to follow the rules and do everything you can to protect yourself and others. Lives are at risk and we all must act now to control the spread of the virus. Equally, please remember to look after your mental health and wellbeing, and stay in touch with your friends, family and neighbours. We will get through this together. 

Stay safe, 

Mayor Biggs

More information >

Hands face space - protect yourself from coronavirus

In addition to the new restrictions, remember the basics

Please help stop the spread of Covid-19 by taking every step possible to stay safe:

  • Follow the current government restrictions and ensure you're up to date on what's changing this week.
  • 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. 

Local advice and support >

Stay safe this Bonfire Night

Stay safe while at home this Bonfire Night

While there won't be any public firework displays this year, it's vital our communities stay safe on Bonfire Night, Thursday 5 November. The new national restrictions will be in force on Thursday and you must follow the rules, which means staying home. 

In addition, we're asking residents to think very carefully before buying any fireworks for home use and to avoid having a bonfire in any garden in Tower Hamlets. When a home firework display goes wrong, the consequences can be very serious and similarly, bonfires can have a harmful impact on people with breathing difficulties, including those suffering from Covid-19 who are isolating and cannot leave their homes.

We have published tips for families to celebrate safely at home and more details on the risks involved with fireworks and bonfires.

Finally, please remember that until Thursday, you must follow the existing high risk area restrictions.


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