Stay home, get tested and tackling nitrous oxide abuse

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Stay Home

Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives

We are now in a national lockdown and so everyone must stay at home and only leave home for specific reasons. These include:

  • Shopping for essential items and medicine
  • Travelling 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.

More information >

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 with availability.

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 get a rapid test.

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 and taxis.

Find out more >

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 >

Schools and education during lockdown

Schools and education: who can attend?

All schools and colleges in Tower Hamlets have moved to remote learning for the majority of children and young people following the lockdown introduced on Wednesday 6 January – a review of school closures by the government is expected in mid-February.

For now, only vulnerable children and the children of critical workers may attend school to receive face-to-face learning in a classroom.

If your child is eligible for a laptop, please speak to their school directly; additional devices are now being distributed through education providers, not the council.

A full list of eligible children can be found on the government website. Please speak to your child’s school directly if you think your child should attend.

Nitrous oxide canisters

Consultation launched to help tackle nitrous oxide abuse

We want to hear what you think about proposals to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to deal with the use of nitrous oxide linked to antisocial behaviour.

A PSPO can be put in place to deal with a particular nuisance in a particular area that is having a detrimental effect on the quality of life for those in the local community. It can prohibit certain things or require specific things to be done.

The consultation runs until Monday 15 February 2021

Share your views >

New Year advice

It's a New Year and what better time for a fresh start?

January is the perfect time to start afresh and implement new healthy habits for the new year ahead.

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your health as you’ll not only feel better and have more energy but you’ll also breathe easier and save money.

Local stop smoking service Quit Right Tower Hamlets offers free, local support and advice around your quitting options as well as access to free nicotine replacement therapies. Contact Quit Right Tower Hamlets on 020 7882 8230 or text / WhatsApp 07474 082330.

Why not quit alcohol for the month? Dry January is the UK challenge that helps millions reset their relationship with alcohol every year. Read personal stories of Dry January including the benefits of quitting and further information.

Better Health advice >

Old Ford Road proposals

Special edition of Ask The Mayor on Liveable Streets Bow

Mayor John Biggs is hosting a special edition of his regular Ask the Mayor question and answer session to discuss making roads safer and easier to get around in Bow.

Join us online on Tuesday 12 January to ask your questions about the changes in Bow scheduled for later this year.

If you can’t attend, e-mail questions to with the subject ‘Ask The Mayor’.

Book your place >

Idea Stores consultation

Help shape the future of our library service 

Are you one of the many thousands of people who live, work or study in the borough and use our Idea Stores and libraries? If yes, we’d really like to hear your views in our current consultation on the future of the service. Our survey is open to all residents and anyone who uses the services, so please get in touch before the survey closes at 5pm on Friday 29 January.

As part of the wider consultation we’re also hosting a special virtual focus group meeting next Wednesday (13 January) at 6pm. So please sign up for this and share with others who may be interested.

Give your views >

EU and UK flags

We want to hear from businesses on Brexit impact

We’d like to hear from local businesses about the impact of Brexit on their operations.

Join our Enterprise team and academics from Queen Mary University of London for an online discussion of the issues for post-Brexit trade in the borough.

Book your place >

Covid text scams

Beware of Covid-19 text scams run by cyber criminals

Cyber criminals are using Covid-19 as an opportunity to send out ‘phishing’ text messages, which try to trick people into clicking on a bad link. Messages are short and simple and often claim to be from a known organisation, such as the NHS, your bank or GOV.UK.

We are aware of a current scam which is asking people to book their Covid-19 vaccination via text, which takes you to a fake NHS form asking for bank details. The NHS will never ask for your bank details.

Other top scams include:

  • Fake links to claim Covid-19 related payments
  • Lockdown fines suggesting you have breached lockdown
  • Offers of health supplements that will prevent you becoming infected
  • Financial support offers that appear to be from your bank

Please remain vigilant and challenge messages that don’t feel right. Read this leaflet to find out more.

Shielding advice

Clinically extremely vulnerable and Covid-19 support 

Shielding has been reintroduced for anyone identified as clinically extremely vulnerable. If you fall into this group, please follow guidance to stay safe and remember you can register on the national system to receive additional support.

Support from the council is available for all vulnerable residents, so please call us 020 7364 3030 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) if we can help. You can also let us know about your support needs online.

We know this continues to be a tough time for everyone and looking after your mental health is as important as your physical wellbeing. There are a range of mental health and wellbeing resources to support you, so please use them if you need help and remember you are not alone.

More info >

Holocaust memorial

Holocaust Memorial Day photography competition 

To mark Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2021, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust are calling on young people, aged 14-25, to submit a photo related to the theme 'be the light in the darkness'. The best six photos will be selected to form part of an exclusive online exhibition which will be launched on 27 January.

The theme for HMD 2021 encourages everyone to reflect on the dark depths humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide. The photographs you enter into the competition should celebrate the people, groups, places and objects which bring us and others light in times of darkness.

The competition closes at 11.59pm on 10 January. Read the guidelines, terms and conditions before submitting your photo to be sure that it meets the requirements.

Submit your photo >

Webinar for parents graphic

Supporting parents through lockdown – Tower Hamlets Talking Therapies

With the majority of children now home schooling, we know that it can be a challenge for families.

Tower Hamlets Talking Therapies is offering two FREE webinars for parents/carers who have a registered address, or are register to a GP, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

  • Managing my child during lockdown | Tue 19 Jan, 4pm: Exploring common difficulties a parent/carer may face when having their child at home, including strategies to manage.
  • Managing self-care as a parent/carer during lockdown | Tue 2 Feb, 4pm: Exploring the importance of self-care and how to ensure parents make time for themselves.

Register at least 24 hours before the event to receive link/instructions for joining using Webex.

Register here >

And don't forget...

Free virtual sessions for parents 

The parental engagement team has launched a new series of online sessions, starting Monday 11 January at 10am. Sessions include information on how to enhance your child’s learning, healthy eating for your family and ways to encourage your child to read. Book a place online

Virtual sessions for parents

NHS is still here to help you 

The NHS is still there for you but please use services carefully at the moment. If you need medical help but it's not an emergency, call your GP or visit NHS online ( or by phone (111). Do not attend an A&E department. If you need urgent care, your GP or NHS 111 will book you an appointment. 

NHS still here to help

Useful links

Thank you for reading

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