Lockdown restrictions from midnight tonight - read the rules and stay safe

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Newsletter banner 2020
Stay home

A reminder that new national lockdown restrictions are in place from midnight tonight.

You must follow the new rules from Thursday 5 November to help stop the spread of Covid-19. 

We have put together advice and updates in this email to help ensure you're ready for the changes. 

We continue to work through the restrictions to establish what they mean for council services, and are publishing updated advice for residents and businesses on our website

Please read on, and share with your family, friends and neighbours in Tower Hamlets.

Message from the Mayor

As the new lockdown rules come into force tonight, I urge you all to do the right thing and follow the restrictions to help keep Tower Hamlets safe.

I know that facing another period of lockdown is difficult for our communities and local businesses. But by following the rules, we have the best chance of restrictions easing in December. 

And while many of us now need to stay at home except for specific reasons, remember that education and health services remain open. Please keep taking your children to school and attending any medical appointments or seeking help if you need it. 

The restrictions come in response to cases of Covid-19 rising significantly across the country. So while it is disappointing that we are staying home once again, please remember that we're doing so to save lives. 

I know it's tough. But the East End is tougher. Our communities are strong and resilient, and I have no doubt we'll get through this together.

As a council, we're continuing to work with our partners across the borough to make sure that our residents, particularly those most vulnerable, are supported.

So once again, please follow the new rules and do everything you can to protect yourself and others. This includes looking after your mental health and wellbeing, and checking in with people you know who may be feeling lonely or isolated. 

Stay safe, 

Mayor Biggs

Summary of the new national restrictions

  • 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.
  • Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.
  • 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 so online

Read more >

Changes to council services

We continue to work through the new rules to establish what they mean for our services. Please note:

  • Schools will remain open and children should attend as normal.
  • Parks will remain open for exercise and playgrounds will stay open.
  • Leisure centres, bowling clubs, tennis courts and skate parks will be closed.
  • Idea Stores and libraries have closed. Our Idea Stores at Bow, Chrisp Street and Whitechapel will reopen with a limited service from next week to enable people to order and collect books or access a computer. Books, magazines and much more are available through online membership. Local History Library and Archives will close and all appointments have been suspended. The online service will continue.
  • Funerals can still be held, with up to 30 people.
  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are not permitted except in exceptional circumstances.
  • Finally, remember that there won't be any public firework displays for Bonfire Night on 5 November. It's vital our communities stay safe at home and avoid having bonfires.

We continue to work through the new restrictions and this list will be updated on our website, with more detail and further service changes to come.

Latest advice >

Covid support

Resident support and updates for those who were shielding

We have a dedicated phoneline to support vulnerable residents and people at the highest risk of severe illness from Covid-19. 

The phoneline can be used by vulnerable residents (or their families or carers) that need help or have an urgent requirement during this difficult time. Residents can phone 020 7364 3030, Monday to Friday (9am - 5pm). Contact us for help if you need it. 

Updated advice for residents who are clinically extremely vulnerable 

People with serious underlying health conditions who are most at risk of severe illness from Covid-19 were previously advised by the government to self-isolate. The shielding programme remains paused and those people are not currently advised to shield but to follow updated advice.

If you are in the clinically extremely vulnerable category, you will receive a formal letter from the government with the following advice:

  • Not to attend work if you cannot work from home. The formal letter from government makes you eligible for statutory sick pay and employment support allowance.
  • Not to go to pharmacies or shops and only travel for essential purposes.
  • Still travel to hospital and GP appointments unless told otherwise by your doctor.
  • If support is needed with medications delivery, to contact your local pharmacy who will arrange for delivery.
  • If support is needed with food delivery, please contact NHS volunteers or call council’s dedicated helpline 020 7364 3030 for support.
  • Do leave home to exercise outdoors or meet with other members of your support bubble.

Updated advice >

Wear a face covering

Remember the basics to stay safe

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 the latest advice.
  • 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 anywhere it is more 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 >

Covid-19: Useful links

Thank you for reading

Share this email with your family and friends to ensure they have the latest advice on coronavirus. Anyone can subscribe for updates using this link

Updates in other languages

If you know someone who would like to receive advice in Bengali, they can subscribe to 'Bengali newsletter' for weekly news and updates.