Tower Hamlets residents advised to avoid visiting other households

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Residents of the borough of Tower Hamlets in east London are being advised to avoid visiting other households by the local council, despite no changes to coronavirus restrictions in the capital being made by the Government.

In an open letter, the borough’s mayor John Biggs asked those who live in the area to avoid visiting other households “unless absolutely necessary” due to a rise in coronavirus cases.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and councils in the capital have urged the Government to implement additional measures for Londoners, but so far no extra restrictions have been put in place by ministers.

Tower Hamlets’ rate for the seven days to September 28 was 44.0 cases per 100,000 people, up from 38.5 the previous week.

Mr Biggs called the situation a “matter of life and death” and said urgent action was required, adding that the borough had one of the highest levels of Covid-19 in London.

He wrote: “Despite a fall over the summer, we are seeing cases of Covid-19 rise and we need to accept that the situation is once again worsening.

“Tower Hamlets now has one of the highest levels of Covid-19 in London.

“As a second rise in infections hits us, we must take all steps necessary to limit the spread of the virus and protect those most at risk.”

He added: “I am clear that the current national rules are a minimum and my advice to you all is to do everything in your power to protect each other.

“Our individual actions have consequences for us all.”

A spokesman for Mr Khan warned that London was at a “very serious tipping point” in the spread of the virus, adding that there had been rising 111 calls, GP visits and hospital admissions in the capital.

“The mayor has been clear that we urgently need more testing in the capital so we can properly track the spread of the virus and warned that further restrictions – such as restrictions on households mixing – are likely to be needed very soon,” the spokesman said.

“He continues to urge all Londoners to be as cautious as possible and play their part in protecting our city.”

On Monday, leader of Redbridge Council Jas Athwal called for an immediate ban on different households mixing in the most overcrowded areas to prevent the situation getting worse.

“Quite clearly I think in overcrowded parts of London we have got to be looking at bringing that in so that different households can’t mix,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“Mixing face-to-face should be stopped immediately because there are problems and we are seeing there the pandemic take hold. It is only going to get worse with the flu season coming into play as well.”

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