'We are in a dangerous time': Council leader supports third lockdown

Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, speaking at a Fair Futures Commission meeting at Ar

Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, speaking at a Fair Futures Commission meeting at Arts and Media School Islington. Photo by Em Fitzgerald - Credit: Archant

Islington Council leader Richard Watts has backed the government's decision to lockdown the country and help tackle soaring rates of coronavirus cases.

On Saturday, the government U-turned on plans to reopen primary schools in Islington, and last night Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a third national lockdown to avoid hospitals being overwhelmed by critically ill patients.

Yesterday, 58,784 people in the UK tested positive with the virus. According to the latest available figures from Islington Council, an average of 89 people were testing positive each day in the week leading up to December 12.

People can now only leave home to shop for basic necessities, work if they cannot do so from home, exercise, meet their support or childcare bubble, seek medical help, get a Covid test or flee domestic abuse.

Children of key workers will still be able to attend school and nurseries will remain open.

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Cllr Watts said: “It’s right that the prime minister has listened to public health advice about surging cases and tonight announced new measures to help bring this deadly disease under control.

"We’re in a dangerous situation, with growing pressure on our NHS and local hospitals as more people become ill.

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“Coronavirus is spreading fast in Islington and London, and the more it spreads, the more serious ill health and death we will see in our communities."

Cllr Watts urged anyone who needs help with shopping, collecting medicines, with money worries, or who might need to chat or ask for support, to call the We are Islington helpline on 020 7527 8222, which is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm.

He added: "We’re so proud of how so many people have stood together during the pandemic to look out for each other, and we will continue through the weeks ahead.

“These are especially challenging times for businesses, after a very difficult time last year, and together with other leaders in London, I am again calling for government to give businesses the support they desperately need.

“There is light ahead, as vaccines are rolled out – but for now, we are again in a very dangerous time."

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