There has been multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19 'variants of concern' that were first identified in South Africa and Brazil within Tower Hamlets. All the confirmed cases are self-isolating.
Something is a variant of concern if it is not known whether it will spread more easily, cause more severe disease, or may not be supported by vaccinations - testing helps us learn more.
Working in partnership with Tower Hamlets Council, NHS Test and Trace has been providing additional 'surge' testing, within E1 postcodes (E1 4 and E1 3 and some of E1 0, E1 1, E1 2, E1 5, E14 7, E2 0, E2 6, E3 4) from Sunday 3 May. These are the areas where the variants were identified. These areas include parts of Bethnal Green, Stepney Green, St Peters and St Dunstan's wards.
If you are over 11 years of age and you live, work or are educated in an E1 postcode, you're strongly encouraged to take a COVID-19 PCR test when invited, even if you're not showing symptoms.
Check your postcode
You can check your postcode here and check if you are being asked to get a test.
Enhanced contact tracing will be used for individuals testing positive with a variant of concern (VOC). In these instances, contact tracers will look back over an extended period to determine the route of transmission.
Additional testing in the area
An additional test unit is available at Gouldman House, E1 4HQ from Sunday 2 May, 8:30am to 3pm. The additional test unit will be in place each day.
PCR home testing tests will be available for collection and return at the sites below from 12pm to 6pm:
- Bethnal Green Gardens, off Cambridge Heath Road, immediately in front of Bethnal Green Library, E2 0HL.
- Anchor Retail Park, 123 Mile End Rd, Stepney Green, London E1 4UJ, opposite the turning for Stepney Green.
- Corner of Redmans Road and Stepney Green, north of Stepney Green Park, E1 3NG.
- Tramshed Community Hub on Digby Street, E2 0LS (behind Albert Jacob House).
People can also book a test online, through the NHS COVID-19 app or by calling 119. If you have symptoms you must book a test via the national portal.
The nearest test sites to the areas are:
- Idea Store Watney Market, 260 Commercial Street, E1 2FB
- Ecology Pavilion, Grove Rd, Bow, London E3 5TW
Appointments at these test sites can be booked online. Click here
for frequently asked questions about the surge testing.