Covid-19 restrictions

From 17 May, England moved into stage 3 of the Prime Ministers roadmap out of lockdown. Updated advice is now in place.

More information on current restrictions and guidelines is available on the government website.

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Rapid Covid-19 test

Lateral Flow Tests

Rapid Covid-19 tests are one of the tools being used to help to detect and fight Covid-19.

Research shows that one in three people who have Covid-19 never show any symptoms, but that does not mean they are not infectious. These tests can help identify people with high levels of virus who do not have symptoms.

The rapid Covid-19 tests are also known as Lateral Flow Tests and provide results are normally available within one hour.

More information on self-isolating and contact tracing is available on the council website.

Community Collect programme

Rapid Covid-19 test kits can now be collected and taken home. This test collection option is available to families with children who have returned to school and families/households of staff who work in schools.

These tests are available for collection in Tower Hamlets from rapid asymptomatic test sites. The tests can be performed completely at home and provide a result within 30 minutes.

We are encouraging all households where at least one member attends or works at a school or nursery to access this testing. One in three people who have Covid-19 show no symptoms but could be transmitting the virus in the community unknowingly, so getting tested even if you don’t have symptoms will help keep you and your community safe.

Test kits can be collected from:

  • Burcham Street Community Centre, 56 Burcham Street, E14 0SH – 10 am to 7pm
  • Jubilee Place, Lower Mall – Level 2, Canary Wharf, E14 5NY – 11am to 8pm Thursdays, 7:30 am to 4:30pm all other days
  • Tramshed Community Centre, Digby Street E2 0LS – 10am to 7pm
  • Watney Market Idea Store, E1 2FB – 2.30pm to 8pm
  • Jack Dash House, 2 Lawn House Close, E14 9YQ – 2.30pm to 8pm
  • Abefeldy Community Centre, Aberfeldy St, E1 0NU – Mon to Fri, 10am to 4:30pm
  • St Paul’s Way Centre, 83 St Pauls Way, E1 4AJ – Mon to Fri, 10am to 4:30pm
  • Idea Store Bow, 1 Gladstone Place, Roman Road, Bow, E3 5ES – 10am to 6pm Weekdays, 12noon to 4pm Weekend
  • Idea Store Whitechapel, 321 Whitechapel Road, E1 1BU - 10am to 6pm Weekdays, 12noon to 4pm Weekend

Book a Rapid Covid-19 test

Rapid tests are available to book at Burcham Street Community centre, Canary Wharf  and Tramshed Community Centre.

Book your rapid test



Directions to the test centres

Burcham Street Community Centre

To accommodate the election, this site will have limited hours on Wednesday 5 and Friday 7 May and will be closed on Thursday 6 May.

56 Burcham Street
E14 0SH

Google map directions to Burcham Street Community Centre.

Burcham Street Community Centre is set back slightly off Burcham Street in a small alleyway next toto Glenkerry House (there is a sign pointing to the centre from the street).

Please walk or cycle to the test site if possible. There is no parking available.

Open 10am to 7pm daily.

Canary Wharf

Lower Mall - Level -2
Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf
E14 5NY.

Google map directions to Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf.

Open 11:00am to 8pm on Thursdays, and 7.30am to 4.30pm on all other days

Tramshed Community Centre

To accommodate the election, this site will be closed on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 May, with limited hours on Friday 7 May.

Digby Street
Bethnal Green
E2 0LP

Open 10am to 7pm daily.

More information about the test

Confirm your booking

To confirm your booking, you will need to tell us your name and contact details (telephone and email address).

You will also need to give some more details to be registered on the government testing website.

This lets you get your results quickly and get further instructions if you test positive.

Wear a face mask

You must wear a face mask or face covering when you're at the centre, unless you are exempt or have a reasonable excuse in accordance with the latest government guidelines.

If you don't, you will be turned away without a test. You must also keep 2 metre social distancing while you wait for your test. 

Can you bring other people to get tested?

If you want to go to the test centre with other household or family members, you should book tests for those people as well.

There is no age limit on the people that can be tested.

Children under 16 must be accompanied and the test for younger children must be done by the parent. 

What do you do when you get to the test centre?

Please arrive between 10 and 20 minutes before your appointment time. You may need to queue for a few minutes when you get there. 

Bring your smart phone or other device with you. You will be given a QR code. You will need this to register your test on the government website.

You will be helped to do this by the test centre attendants. The government website will then give you a bar code which you need before the test. 

How do you take the test?

You will be guided to a testing booth. After you have shown your bar code you will be handed a swab to take the test. 

This is a self-administered test. 

The attendants are not permitted to physically help you do it. You will need to use the swab to collect samples from your throat and then your nose.

Once this has been done, the swab is put into a tube for testing. The bar code will be used to identify that the test sample has come from you.

After that's done, you can leave.

Once your test is completed please leave the area around the test centre and go home. Your test results will be given to you and not to the test centre. 

How long does it take to get the test results?

Test results generally take between 30-60 minutes to reach you by text message or email. If you do not get your results within two hours, contact telephone number 119. 

Please do not return to the test centre as they won't be able to help.

What happens after you get the results?

If your test returns a positive test you will be asked to book another confirmation test. You can do this through the NHS test booking portal. 

This test can be done at another test centre in Tower Hamlets or you can register for a home test kit. 

In the meantime, you must self-isolate to prevent spreading the virus to other people.