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Cllr Graham Henson: Lockdown continues – let’s not be complacent

The latest statement from Leader of the Council Cllr Graham Henson:

Very little has changed since the Prime Minister addressed the nation on Sunday. I know that many of you have made a lot of sacrifices in order to save lives and stop the spread of the coronavirus – and I’d like to thank you for doing your bit.

There is still a lot of information that is yet to be clarified but our number one priority will always be to protect and support our most vulnerable residents during this difficult period.

What is clear from the Government is that this crisis is far from over and there is still a long way to recovery. It is not a time to be complacent. Lockdown has not been lifted - and it is vitally important to continue to follow the rules that are still in place. That includes social distancing – staying two metres apart from people you don’t live with.

We all need to continue to play our part in stopping the spread of coronavirus. We must still stay at home as much as possible and continue to do all the things we have been doing to protect the NHS and save lives. The most basic thing we can do to keep yourself and others safe and protected is washing your hands regularly and only going out if it’s absolutely essential.

If you have to go out for essential reasons, keep two-metres apart from others at all times. You should stay local and avoid unnecessary journeys on public transport. If you can, please walk or cycle where possible. The government are advising that face covering should be worn in enclosed areas and shops where social distancing is not always possible.

It is expected from Wednesday that there will be some relaxation on rules around exercise and using the parks. We are waiting further guidance and complete clarity on what will be relaxed. Whatever the new measures are, you will still need to keep a two-metre distance from others. Playgrounds, gyms, and courts remain closed. Many of you have been using our parks responsibly over the last two months, and in doing so have helped keep our parks open.

With the Prime Minister encouraging people to go back to work (only if they cannot work from home), please walk or cycle to work where you can and avoid using public transport where possible. The number of drivers on our roads is rising – you should only drive if it’s necessary.

As restrictions will gradually be lifted over the next few months, we will also look to have some of our services running again. Please continue to be patient with our staff who are trying to ensure your safety while allowing you access to our services again. All the latest service updates and support available to you is on our website which is updated regularly.

Our community has been hard hit by the virus over the last two months and we don’t want to give up now. Despite the adversity, I am so proud of the fantastic community spirit shown in Harrow. We have seen hundreds of volunteers, different faiths, and community groups come together to help those most in need. I want to say a special thank you to you all for everything you are doing to help others in times of need. This is Harrow at its best!

While we wait on further information, I urge everyone to continue to follow the rules. Stay at home as much as possible and, if you need to go out, keep your distance. This is still all about protecting the NHS and saving lives.

Published: May 12th 2020