⚠️ Tier 3 rules – what you can and cannot do from 16 December

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Message from the Mayor

The government has announced that London is entering tier 3 very high alert  from Wednesday morning, 16 December.

With cases of Covid-19 rising so rapidly this change is necessary to stop the virus spreading in bars and restaurants and other places where people might mix. While shops remain open I urge you to be extra careful to prevent transmission in the run up to Christmas. Remember, you’re potentially infectious for 10 days after getting Covid-19, even if you do not have any symptoms. 

It remains critically important to avoid mixing with other households inside - as this is one of the main ways that infection is rising again in our borough. 

Check the rules to see how the change of tier impacts on you.

I know these added restrictions are disruptive to both residents and businesses but they are in place to keep us all safe. We will continue to work with the government to increase testing and make the case for adequate economic support for Tower Hamlets.

Please play your part to #KeepTowerHamletsSafe. Do also check on friends, family and neighbours by phone. Uncertain times can affect people's mental health, so it's vital we look out for each other safely. A host of health and wellbeing resources are available on our website.

We also have a dedicated phoneline for vulnerable residents to get support with self-isolation, supplies and urgent needs throughout the pandemic.

We will provide more local advice and updates soon. Until then, please read more in this newsletter and share the latest advice with your networks.

Stay safe, 

Mayor Biggs

Very high alert level - visit www.gov.uk/covid for details

Covid-19: Very high alert from Wednesday 16 December

Local cases of Covid-19 have continued to increase significantly and London, including Tower Hamlets, will move into tier 3 – very high alert – from 00.01 on Wednesday 16 December.

The very high number of cases in London mean more people are getting unwell, more people will end up in hospital and there will be more deaths as a result of the virus.

Follow the new rules and play your part to keep our community safe, including:

  • Do not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble. This includes in any private garden and most outdoor venues.
  • Do not socialise in a group of more than six in some other outdoor public spaces, including outdoor spaces accessible to the public, a public garden, or a sports facility – this is called the ‘rule of 6’.
  • Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – but can operate takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
  • Reduce the number of journeys you make where possible and work from home where possible.
  • Places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with  anyone outside of your household or support bubble while you are there, unless a legal exemption applies.

More tier 3 rules >

Get a Covid-19 test

Get a Covid-19 test in Tower Hamlets

Following a worrying rise in Covid-19 cases across London and in Tower Hamlets, we have expanded testing capacity in the borough. It remains extremely important that residents book a Covid-19 test if symptomatic.

We continue to operate local testing units in Shadwell, Mile End, Isle of Dogs and Billingsgate. Appointments at all testing sites can be booked by calling 119 or online.

In order to protect yourself and other people, please remember to wear a face mask when going for a test.

If you have symptoms of Covid-19...

Book a test if you’re experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 and stay at home until you get your result.  

  • If you test positive, stay at home for 10 days from when symptoms started. This includes while symptomatic and waiting to arrange a test. 
  • If you're identified as a close or recent contact of someone who has tested positive through NHS Test and Trace, self-isolate for 10 days.

Symptoms and testing info >

Animation of money being given to another hand.

Self-isolation support payments help hundreds of residents

We've paid more than £237,500 to vulnerable residents who have had to self-isolate due to Covid-19. This means that 475 residents on low incomes have successfully applied for the £500 payment.

Payments were introduced by the government in September to support people on low incomes in high risk areas. Self-isolation, when identified as a positive Covid-19 case or having been in contact with a positive Covid-19 case, became a legal requirement from the end of September, so this fund aims to help those who are unable to work from home and would lose money by self-isolating.

We have also provided additional crisis and hardship grants for food and fuel through the resident support scheme, and relaxed the criteria, allowing people to apply multiple times.

Apply for support >

Schools are open

Schools in Tower Hamlets remain open under tier 3 rules

Levels of Covid-19 are rising particularly fast in 11 to 18 year olds and so we are increasing our capacity to provide testing to children in this age group and their families.

Schools in Tower Hamlets remain open. This will be the case unless the government recommends otherwise, or the headteacher determines they need to move their school to remote learning (other than for vulnerable children and children of key workers). 

Children must still attend school or college as normal, unless they are self-isolating. Please try to walk or cycle where possible, plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes when travelling to and from a place of education.

Our schools have measures in place to keep children, staff, their families and our community safe. 

Read more >

Stay safe during the festive season - Between 23 and 27 December up to three households can form a festive bubble.

Covid-19 and the festive period

This Christmas isn’t going to be normal and with cases rising in Tower Hamlets, Covid-19 is a very real risk.

The government has announced it will lift restrictions on social mixing for five days, between 23 – 27 December. During this time, up to three households can form a ‘Christmas Bubble’, allowing each household to spend time together in one home (if you choose to).

However, London will be in tier 3 restrictions from Wednesday 16 December and meeting with friends and family over Christmas will increase the risk of transmission among those we love. We are asking residents to think carefully before forming festive bubbles and be alert to those at greater risk, including the elderly and those with existing health conditions.

Advice around Covid-19 restrictions can change quickly. Keep up to date with the latest at www.gov.uk/coronavirus and local advice at www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/coronavirus

It’s vital we remain vigilant and play our part in limiting any further spread of Covid-19.

Christmas Bubbles >

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