Further easing of Covid-19 restrictions across England from today

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Message from the Mayor

It has now been over a year since the Covid-19 pandemic began and, in what has been a devastating and challenging year, we have been moved by the remarkable response of our community. From supporting the most vulnerable to each person making great personal sacrifice to follow the rules and keep people safe, everyone in our borough has played a part.

Today, we are more hopeful than ever; more people are being vaccinated against Covid-19 every day (over 82,196 in Tower Hamlets) and step two of the Government's roadmap out of lockdown begins, with further restrictions being lifted across the whole of England. This staggered lifting of restrictions requires four tests on vaccines, infection rates and new coronavirus variants to be met at each stage. 

From today yet more of the restrictions we have lived under are being lifted. That is a big relief to many of us and something to savour and celebrate (especially those in need of a haircut!). With shops and some outdoor hospitality reopening, the world is beginning to return to normality. However, we should be in no doubt that the coming months will continue to challenge us, and Covid-19 will remain among us.

It is crucial that we remain cautious and all continue to play our part in stopping the spread of the virus. We can get through this together by continuing to adhere to the restrictions, moving through each step of the roadmap safely, taking up the offer of vaccination when it's our turn, and getting tested.

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, together we can keep Tower Hamlets safe.

Stay safe,

Mayor Biggs


Lifting of Covid-19 restrictions: step 2

From today, 12 April 2021:

  • Continue to only meet in groups of six or up to two households, outside only.
  • All shops will reopen including services such as hairdressers and beauty salons.
  • Restaurants, bars and pubs can serve food and alcohol to customers outdoors only.
  • Gyms, libraries and community centres will reopen.
  • Weddings can take place with up to 15 people in attendance, funerals with up to 30 people, and wakes with up to 15 people.
  • Children can attend any indoor children’s activity.
  • Care home residents can have two visitors each.
  • Members of the same household can take a holiday in England in self-contained accommodation.

Remember, continue to shop safe and shop local. Stay outside when meeting others – fresh air reduces the risk of passing Covid-19 on.

The government continue to review cases of Covid-19 and any new variants of the virus. Each stage of the roadmap will consider these to ensure the safe lifting of restrictions.

From 17 May 2021:

  • People can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors.
  • Six people or two households can meet indoors, with domestic overnight stays permitted.
  • Restaurants, bars and pubs can serve food and alcohol to customers indoors.
  • Up to 30 people can attend weddings or other life events, like christenings.
  • Outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas can open.
  • Indoor entertainment such as museums, theatres and children's play areas can open.
  • Performances and large events can restart, but there will be limits on audience numbers.
  • Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen.
  • Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes can restart.

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

This advice could change, so make sure you keep up to date with the latest information. You can view the full roadmap on the government website.

Hands - face - space - fresh air poster

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, fresh air':
    • 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)
    • Meet others outside in fresh air to reduce the risk of passing Covid-19 on.
  • 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 >

Photograph of a man receiving a Covid-19 vaccine in Tower Hamlets

Vaccination offers the best protection against Covid-19

Take up the offer of vaccination when you are eligible. Everyone aged 50 or over, with an underlying health condition or who is a carer/frontline health or social care worker, can get vaccinated.

The Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective. It does not contain any animal or alcohol products – it is kosher, vegan and halal friendly.

The British Islamic Medical Association has confirmed that taking the Covid-19 vaccine (first or second dose) does not invalidate the fast. Please do not delay taking the Covid-19 vaccine.

Anyone eligible for the vaccine can call our dedicated helpline to ask questions or book their appointment on 020 3764 3030. More information, including on Ramadan, is available online.

Find out more >

Photograph of an at-home Covid-19 test

Get tested in Tower Hamlets

Testing remains critically important. There are two types of testing – rapid testing for people without symptoms and testing for those with symptoms.

Symptomatic testing

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 should book a test by calling 119 or booking online. You will be offered the nearest site to you with availability.

Asymptomatic testing

One in three people who have Covid-19 show no symptoms but can pass the virus on to others. This is why getting tested, even when not showing symptoms, is important. Everyone can access rapid testing twice weekly, with at least three days between each test. 

Free rapid tests can be carried out at one of our testing sites in the borough or testing kits can be collected from a pick-up point and carried out at home.

Get tested >

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