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Covid-19 local alert levels – London moving to 'high' risk area


The government has now introduced a Covid-19 local alert system in response to rising cases across the London and the rest of the country. This classifies areas as medium, high or very high based on their numbers of infection and overall risk level.

London, including Tower Hamlets, is currently a medium alert level area, but will move to a high alert level area from midnight on Friday 16 October.

From midnight on Friday 16 October:

  • People must not meet anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • Not meet in groups of more than six outside, including in a garden or other space.
  • Work from home where possible.
  • Reduce the number of journeys they make. Walk or cycle where possible and avoid busy times on public transport. Do not travel to any areas which are classified as ‘very high’.
  • Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a Covid secure manner
  • All pubs, bars and restaurants are still restricted to table service and must close at 10pm.
  • Businesses selling food for consumption off site can after 10pm if through a delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • Face coverings must be worn by all retail staff, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Customers must also wear coverings in indoor hospitality venues except when seated to eat or drink.
  • Only 15 people can attend weddings and civil partnerships, within groups of no more than six. Funerals can still take place with up to 30 people.
  • Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These can only take place indoors if people can avoid mixing with those they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or for youth or disability sport
  • Fines for not wearing a face covering or gathering in groups of more than six have increased to £200 on the first offence. This is being enforced.
  • In retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors, Covid secure guidelines are a legal obligation. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach these rules.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “London, including Tower Hamlets, will be classed as a ‘high’ risk area (or tier 2’) under the government’s new Covid-19 local alert system from this Friday at midnight. This means households cannot mix in any indoor setting, both in households and places like restaurants, bars and cafes.

“We knew that household mixing was a way Covid-19 has been spreading and that’s why I’d already been advising against this. This will now be mandatory and while I know these restrictions are difficult, it’s a serious time.

“With rates increasing it is important we all follow restrictions to keep our community safe. As a council we’ll continue to support our residents.”

Remember you are safest when you:

  • Wash hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, then use hand sanitiser. 
  • Wear a face covering on public transport, in shops, in indoor hospitality unless seated to eat or drink and anywhere else 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’re 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. 
Posted on Thursday 15th October 2020