Covid-19 testing update

We are asking that anyone over the age of 11-years-old who lives, works, or learns in Tower Hamlets has a PCR test for Covid-19. 

This includes people who do not have any symptoms, people who have been vaccinated and people who have recently had a negative LFT (‘rapid’ test).

We are opening more testing sites for people to get tested or collect home test kits. Some of these will be temporary, all of them will offer walk-in testing, with no appointment necessary.

In addition to doing your one-off PCR test, we ask that you continue with regular rapid tests and follow the usual guidance if you have symptoms.

Visit for the latest information on testing options, locations and opening times, or you can call the council’s helpline on 020 7364 3030 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Why is more testing being made available?

Tower Hamlets has one of the lowest Covid-19 testing rates in London and we need your help to change it.

Testing finds Covid-19 cases and stops further spread, because people can self-isolate when they know they are positive. This protects everyone.

In recent weeks, a small number of Covid-19 variants of concern have been identified in Tower Hamlets. These variants of concern were first identified in Brazil and South Africa. Testing helps us learn more about these new variants, as well as reduce or even stop their spread.

With more social restrictions easing from Monday 17 May, more people will be coming into contact with each other, meaning it is important that everyone is taking regular tests – whether they have symptoms or not.

What does this mean for education settings?

Education settings should remain open as usual and continue to follow government guidance.

Please share this new testing information with your school community and display copies of our testing poster in your school or college from Monday 17 May:

  • Letter to residents
  • Testing poster for schools

If you have staff who do not live in Tower Hamlets, please ask them to do a test in the borough to ensure that it is picked up by the lab as part of Tower Hamlets testing.

Your local Health & Safety team have reviewed the risk assessment template considering these new Covid-19 variants. Please review and refresh your risk assessment to ensure that existing control measures are well implemented.

To support families to self-isolate when they need to, please share details of the council’s self-isolation support programme which offers a £500 payment to eligible parents who are required to self-isolate. Visit the council website to learn more.