Roadmap out of lockdown unveiled - continue to stay at home to save lives

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Message from the Mayor

The Prime Minister addressed the nation last night to outline a four-step roadmap out of lockdown, which will see Covid-19 restrictions start to lift across England from 8 March.

At each step, restrictions will be lifted across the whole of England at the same time. There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step, and the government will be guided by data to avoid a surge in infections, hospitalisations, and deaths. This lifting of restrictions requires four tests on vaccines, infection rates and new coronavirus variants to be met at each stage. 

This announcement offers some light at the end of the tunnel, but it is crucial that we remain cautious and all continue to play our part in stopping the spread of Covid-19, including taking up the offer of vaccination when it’s your turn. We are all weary after nearly a year of restrictions but we know from previous relaxations that rates can easily go back up and we all want to avoid another lockdown.

We will be publishing further updates in due course on the impact on council services. A year of living with Covid-19 has also had a major impact on people’s livelihoods and the government’s economic support needs to remain in place to support our community to recover.

I urge you to follow the rules and do everything you can to protect yourself and others. By remaining vigilant and all playing our part, we can keep Tower Hamlets safe.

Stay safe,

Mayor Biggs


An illustration of the key dates of phase 1 of the roadmap out of lockdown

Step-by-step lifting of restrictions: key dates

Step 1

8 March

  • All schools and colleges will open, with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed to take place. Childcare will resume.
  • Recreation or exercise outdoors will be allowed between two people.
  • Care home residents will be allowed one regular visitor.
  • During this time, we must continue to stay at home and no household mixing is permitted. 

29 March

  • Outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed, including in private gardens. 
  • Outdoor sport and leisure facilities such as tennis courts will reopen, and organised outdoor sport will return for both adults and children.

Step 2

12 April

  • Non-essential retail will reopen, along with hairdressers, community centres, and libraries.
  • Indoor leisure (including gyms) will reopen for individual or household use.
  • Outdoor settings including hospitality, zoos and theme parks will reopen.
  • Self-contained holiday accommodation such as holiday lets and campsites will reopen to individual households.

Check with your local place of worship for the latest advice.

A summary of the roadmap, including details of steps 3 and 4, is available on Twitter. You can view the full roadmap on the government website, and you can also watch the Prime Minister's address to the nation on YouTube

Hands face space - protect yourself from coronavirus

Remember the basics to help tackle Covid-19

As we move through each of the phases in the roadmap, we must not forget that Covid-19 is still here and infectious. Please remember to:

  • Carry on with 'hands, face, space':
    • Wash your hands regularly
    • Wear a face covering in shops, on public transport, and in other enclosed areas
    • 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.  
  • Take up the offer of vaccination when it is your turn.

Everyone has a part to play to keep themselves, their family and friends and the wider community safe. 

Advice and information >

A promotional poster for a covid-19 vaccination webinar

Covid-19 vaccination Q&A: your questions answered

We hosted a live virtual discussion and Q&A session last week about Covid-19 vaccination, which is available to watch online.

Mayor John Biggs, Councillor Rachel Blake, and a panel of health experts including Dr Somen Banerjee, Professor Kevin Fenton, and Dr Anwar Ali MBE answered questions submitted by residents about the vaccine.

This virtual event was the first in a planned series on Covid-19 vaccinations. We will tailor upcoming events to meet the needs of our communities in Tower Hamlets, including our Somali and Bengali communities.

Watch the webinar >

A man receiving a Covid-19 vaccine

Helpline available to help at-risk groups book Covid-19 vaccine

Residents eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine are now being supported to book their appointments through a council vaccine helpline - 020 7364 3030.

The helpline team speak community languages and can book local vaccine appointments for eligible residents, along with answering any questions residents may have about the vaccine. If you are in one of the groups eligible and have not been vaccinated, please book your appointment or call the helpline for advice – we are here to help.

At this time the helpline is only for those eligible for vaccination.

Contact the helpline >

A child sitting at a table with a laptop

#EveryChildOnline: Tackling digital disadvantage in Tower Hamlets

One-in-four school children in Tower Hamlets (approx. 10,000 students) are digitally disadvantaged; unable to access online learning because they have no device of their own, no connection to the internet, or both.

Even with plans for children to go back to classroom learning in March, there’s a real danger that this disadvantage will translate in the long-term to an education and opportunity gap between children with access, and those without, in Tower Hamlets.

The council and its partners are looking to raise £1 million to make an immediate impact where it’s needed most before they begin the long-term work of ensuring every single school child in Tower Hamlets has both the kit and the connectivity to 'level up' the digital divide and help those in need access their online learning.

Donate now >

An invitation to help shape local healthcare services

Help shape local healthcare services

Residents with disabilities have faced more difficulties during the pandemic. Healthwatch and local health providers are trying to find out what can be done to make things better.

If you have a health condition that impacts your daily life, you can help shape healthcare services locally by completing a questionnaire. Everyone who takes part will be entered into a draw to win Amazon vouchers.

Share your experience >

Useful links

Thank you for reading

We hope you have found this bulletin useful. Share this with your family and friends to ensure they have the latest advice on coronavirus. Anyone can subscribe 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.