From Tuesday 5th January everyone must stay at home, and only leave home for specific reasons, such as:
- Shopping for essential items and medicine
- Travel to work, but only if you cannot work from home
- 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.
Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and 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.
Hear from local GPs about the Covid-19 vaccine
This week, local GPs, vaccinators, and prescribers at our Cable Street vaccine centre spoke to us about why everyone has a duty to protect themselves by taking up the offer of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Listen to how the vaccine is safe, effective and our best protection against Covid-19. So please remember, take up the offer of vaccination and keep Tower Hamlets safe.
There is more information about the COVID-19 Vaccination programme on the Tower Hamlets Website.
Helpline launched to help at-risk groups book Covid-19 vaccinations - 020 7364 3030
Tower Hamlets residents who are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine will now be supported to book their appointment through a new council helpline - 020 7364 3030. The helpline, staffed with call handlers who can speak community languages, will work to ensure eligible residents, including those who are digitally excluded and vulnerable, all get Covid-19 vaccine appointments.
The team will both proactively call residents who have been contacted about being vaccinated but not yet booked their appointment and answer incoming calls from eligible residents who want to book their appointment or ask questions. This includes where vaccine centres are in the borough and how people can travel to their appointments.
Call handlers have also been trained by the council’s public health team to support anyone experiencing vaccine hesitancy and provide factual information to address any concerns.
The helpline will run alongside the council’s existing Covid-19 support line, set up back in March 2020. So far the helpline has directly helped over 14,000 residents and continues to support vulnerable residents and those self-isolating around food and medication, applying for Covid-19 support payments and financial concerns and any mental health and wellbeing issues, including social isolation.
The helpline is supported by, and linked to, GP practices in Tower Hamlets so that the helpline can directly book local appointments for residents.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “Making sure everyone in our community are able to book their appointments and access information about the vaccine is vital. This is one of the first vaccine helplines in London and will ensure even the most vulnerable don’t fall through the gaps.
“If you are one of the groups eligible for vaccination, currently anyone aged 70 and over and the clinically extremely vulnerable, please book your appointment or call the helpline for advice. We all have a part to play in keeping ourselves and the wider community safe.”
Although the Covid-19 vaccine programme is being rolled out in phases, with groups becoming eligible based on their risk, everyone should ‘be ready’ to receive their vaccine. All residents are being encouraged to read about the vaccine if they have any concerns so when it is their turn, they are confident in taking up the offer of vaccination. Remember:
- All Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective, take the vaccine you are offered.
- None of the Covid-19 vaccines contain any egg or animal product, and are vegan, halal and kosher. The vaccines only contain medication – nothing else.
- Vaccines are our best protection against Covid-19 and our route back to a normal way of life.
- We all have a part to play to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. Be ready to get your vaccine.
- Covid-19 is still among us and infectious. The risk of catching Covid-19 is the same as ever for people who are not vaccinated. This is why following the rules and public health measures continue to be vitally important. These include washing hands regularly, wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and keeping a safe distance from other people.
Tracy Cannell, Joint Chief Executive for Tower Hamlets GP Care Group, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the council to make sure that all residents are supported to receive their vaccine as soon as they are eligible.”
The vaccine helpline is currently only for those who are eligible for vaccination. Residents who want to find out more about the vaccine, and will be eligible in coming months, can read about the vaccine on the council website www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/vaccine.
Question and answer webinars on the Covid-19 vaccine will be held regularly for residents and promoted on the council’s website. Anyone who would like to support the community can also join the council’s growing Covid-19 Community Champions network www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/covidchampions.
Remember the basics to help tackle Covid-19
In addition to the measures that come with being in a high risk area, we must continue to take every step we can to stay safe:
- Wash your hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, then use hand sanitiser
- Guide to washing hands:
Clean hands more often than usual - wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap
Ensure hand washing takes place regularly throughout the day
Ensure everyone washes their hands as soon as they enter the school or home
- Guide to washing hands:
- Wear a face covering on public transport, in shops and other enclosed areas, or anywhere it is difficult to socially distance.
- Keep a safe distance from other people outside your household (two metres where possible).
- Book a free test if you are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 and stay at home until you get your result.
- Stay at home if you test positive for 10 days from when symptoms started. This includes while symptomatic and waiting to arrange a test.
- Self-isolate if you’re identified as a close or recent contact of someone who has tested positive through NHS Test and Trace.
Visit the NHS Website for more information
Are you struggling to explain COVID-19 to your children? Watch this video with your children and it may help.
Become a Covid-19 community champion
Tower Hamlets Council is calling on residents to sign up to become Covid-19 community champions to help everyone stay informed.
Residents sign up and the council then regularly shares up-to-date advice and information on Covid-19 with them, in their preferred format. Champions then share information with their families, friends and their wider communities, helping them to make sense of it.
Weekly webinars are also held for community champions every Tuesday from 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
You can also sign up to the community champions network by telephone (020 7364 3870) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.