*** This article has been reposted from a Tower Hamlets Mayor communication ***
The government has announced that London has entered tier 4 restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19.
We will be moving into new, additional coronavirus restrictions on Sunday 20 December to help combat the spread of the virus in the capital as rates are dangerously high and a new strain is spreading faster than previous strains.
All non-essential shops must close, along with hairdressers, nail bars, indoor gyms and leisure facilities. People should not travel unless absolutely necessary, and work from home wherever possible.
Household mixing will no longer be allowed on 23-27 December. The rules say residents must not leave the area nor mix with anyone outside their household, apart from support bubbles. It is important we follow the rules to keep everyone, particularly those who are older or more vulnerable, safe.
An ‘infographic’ spelling out the rules is included above. But to spell out a few key points:
- Faith gatherings are allowed provided there is no mixing and proper distancing but even then remember the virus is carried through droplets in the air so a face mask is the best way to keep you and others safe.
- And as we all know, the Christmas period, even if you don’t celebrate the Christian faith, is an important time for families to gather together. But because this virus is surging again we must all scale back massively our plans, not meet outside our ‘bubble’ and the rule the government suggested of 5 days with up to three ‘bubbles’ has now been withdrawn.
- So it’s going to be a very different Christmas. But I do want you to look out for your friends and neighbours who may be isolated by this. Call a friend. Meet, if you can, (just two of you, socially distanced) in a park or for a walk. And a single bubble can still work. But be very careful.
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. 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.
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.
Celebrate safely this Christmas, stay at home
Follow the new rules and play your part to keep our community safe, including:
- Do not meet socially with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, indoors or in any private garden.
- Hospitality settings, such as bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants can only operate takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
- Reduce the number of journeys you make 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.
The Government has also reintroduced shielding for clinically vulnerable people in all areas entering Tier 4.
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 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 (shielding) from coronavirus – choose a home test instead.