⚠️ New national lockdown announced

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Message from the Mayor

The Prime Minister has announced that from today we are in a new national lockdown. That means we must stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

As we begin a new year, and after many tough months of making sacrifices, playing our part and protecting our community, I know how difficult many will find this announcement. It will be particularly hard for families, businesses and vulnerable people in Tower Hamlets. I welcome the further economic support the government has announced today and I know the closure of schools will be difficult for children and for working parents and we will work with schools to offer all the support we can.

However, Covid-19 cases are extremely high with the new strain spreading more easily, and we saw huge increases in rates and hospital admissions locally over the past month. For this reason, the new lockdown now in place is necessary and vitally important to reduce the spread of the virus.

Many will continue to be unable to see family, friends and loved ones which is very tough, especially for those living alone or shielding.

As we continue into 2021, we can be optimistic that vaccines are being administered and need the government to step up the roll out of the vaccine. Millions of doses have already been given to the most vulnerable nationally. However, it will still be a while before we get back to anything normal and now is not the time to let our guard down and we must all follow the rules.

I'd like to remind all vulnerable residents, including the clinically extremely vulnerable, that support from the council is available. Call us on 020 7364 3030 if you need to discuss self-isolation, food, medication, or debt. We are here to help.

Please play your part, follow the rules and keep Tower Hamlets safe. We have come so far and together we must continue, ensuring that no sacrifice or effort is in vain.

Stay safe, 

Mayor Biggs

Stay at home, save lives and protect the NHS

Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives

Last night the Prime Minister announced an immediate national lockdown to control the spread of Covid-19 as rates rapidly increase across London and the rest of the country. 

From now (Tuesday 5 January), everyone must stay at home, and only leave home for specific reasons, such as: 

  • Shopping for essential items and medicine
  • To travel to work, but only if you cannot work from home
  • To seek medical help, get tested or get vaccinated
  • To escape domestic abuse or escape serious harm

Full details of what you can and cannot do are available on the Government’s website. Further information on the impact on council services will be available in due course.

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until at least the February half term. Early Years settings such as nurseries currently remain open.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work.

Read more >

Get a Covid-19 test

Get a Covid-19 test in Tower Hamlets

It remains extremely important to book a Covid-19 test if symptomatic - tests can be booked by calling 119 or going online. Residents will be offered an appointment at their nearest testing site. In Tower Hamlets there are testing sites in Shadwell, Mile End, Isle of Dogs and Billingsgate.

Rapid tests are also now available for people without symptoms. These tests are quick and convenient and provide results in under 30 minutes. If you're worried about Covid-19 or at increased risk, then you can book a rapid test. More information is available on the council website.

Please remember, wear a face covering when going for a test. If you're attending a walk-in test centre, please walk or cycle and avoid public transport or taxi. Don't go if you’re very unwell or at high risk (extremely clinically vulnerable) from Covid-19 – choose a home test instead.

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, isolate 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 >

Social distance in parks banner

Parks and leisure update

The impact of the new lockdown impacts parks and leisure in the following ways:

  • Indoor gyms – closed
  • Outdoor gyms – closed (please do not unwrap or use outdoor gyms)
  • Tennis courts – closed
  • Basketball courts - closed
  • Sports facilities – closed
  • Swimming pools – closed
  • Golf courses – closed
  • Cafes – take away only (please do not gather)
  • Markets – closed
  • Team sports – not allowed

Please use the following responsibly and follow government current guidance:

  • Playgrounds – open (wash your hands before/after use)
  • Parks – open (please try your best to avoid busy areas/overcrowding)
  • Public toilets – open (wash your hands before/after use and cover face)

You can exercise outside in a public place (but minimise the time spent outside your home):

  • by yourself
  • with people you live with
  • with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
  • in a childcare bubble where providing childcare
  • or, when on your own, with one person from a different household (including personal trainers)

Read more >

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