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Tower Hamlets residents urged to stay safe while at home this Bonfire Night

As a result of cases of Covid-19 rapidly rising across the country, the government has announced that new restrictions will be in place from Thursday 5 November to help stop the spread of Covid-19. Everyone must again now play their part by staying at home, protecting the NHS and saving lives.

From Thursday 5 November:

  1. Everyone must stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  2. Not gather with anyone you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  3. Certain businesses and venues must close.

As public displays will not be taking place on Bonfire Night, residents are being urged to stay safe and think very carefully before buying any fireworks for home use, and if they do, always following the instructions on the box. 

When a home firework display goes wrong, the consequences can be very serious. Not only can fireworks set fire to sheds, fences, and foliage, they can cause serious injuries. Fireworks can also harm wildlife and can be a nuisance to neighbours, especially the older and vulnerable.

The effects of bonfires at this time are likely to be much more serious and have a bigger impact.

  • Smoke from bonfires can cause health problems for anyone who has breathing difficulties, including those suffering from Covid-19 who are isolating and cannot leave their homes.
  • More than ever residents need to be able to enjoy the fresh air in their gardens or outside areas while they are staying at home to shield, isolate or socially distance. Suffering smoke from neighbour’s bonfires can cause unnecessary stress.
  • Bonfires can become out of control or cause accidents, creating extra pressure on already busy emergency services.

By not having bonfires you are supporting everyone staying at home and allowing the council and the emergency services to focus resources where they are most needed.

Although Bonfire Night will be different this year, it can still be marked from home in other ways. Alternatives to bonfires and fireworks on 5 November include:

  • Make your own Guy Fawkes and display him on your doorstep or balcony/window.
  • Watch the skies. If the weather allows, enjoy the natural lights show in the night sky.
  • Get cooking. Make firework and bonfire-inspired snacks with firework-like explosions of colour.
  • Be crafty and try fireworks arts and crafts, such as making a toilet roll holder rocket, creating colourful firework paintings or collecting autumn leaves to make a firework collage.
  • Relive the spectacular New Year firework displays in London on BBC iPlayer.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We need our residents to remain vigilant this Bonfire Night and make sure they follow the rules. This includes staying at home and not leaving your house unless for specific reasons, including exercise outdoors, caring responsibilities and shopping for essential items such as food.

“We’re asking residents to be safe this year and avoid having bonfires in their gardens or outside spaces. Instead they should consider alternatives to enjoy the night in a safe way.

“By continuing to play our part we are helping to keep Tower Hamlets safe.”

Residents are also reminded that until Thursday, the existing restrictions that come with being in a high risk area must be followed. This means in the lead up to Bonfire Night, you must not socialise with anybody outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, and you must not socialise in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or park.

Keep up to date on the latest Covid-19 advice online.

Posted on Monday 2nd November 2020