Islington Council's leader urges caution as lockdown roadmap announced

A nurse administers a coronavirus vaccine

A nurse administers a coronavirus vaccine - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

As Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a phased lifting of the coronavirus lockdown, Islington Council's leader urged people to remain cautious and to "keep looking out for each other".

Johnson unveiled the government's plan for easing restrictions in England to MPs in the House of Commons on February 22, and said life could be "back to normal" by as early as June 21.

All schools in England are expected to reopen on March 8, and up to six people or two households allowed to meet outdoors from March 29.

Non-essential retailers and hairdressers should open by April 12, when pubs and restaurants also reopen for outdoor seated service.

Then by June, the last remaining legal restrictions could be removed, with the hospitality industry and nightclubs reopening and large events and performances allowed to be held with full crowds.

But although Covid-19 cases in London have fallen significantly since the start of 2021, figures remain high compared to last summer and early autumn, and council leader Cllr Richard Watts warned the NHS is still under intense pressure.

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He issued a reminder that “stay at home” lockdown rules still remain in place for the time being.

According to the latest data available, in the week to February 14 there were an average of 22 new cases diagnosed daily in Islington and 12 people in the borough died of coronavirus.

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Cllr Watts said: “We welcome the great progress that has been made in bringing down rates of Covid-19 in Islington, and are hugely grateful especially to the NHS for rolling out safe, life-saving vaccines to thousands of vulnerable people in our communities, while also treating so many people desperately ill with Covid-19.

“While it’s welcome that rates are going down and vaccine rollout is progressing well, it’s vital we keep looking after each other and doing everything we can to be careful in the face of this very dangerous disease.

"Many people in our community are not yet protected and our hospitals are still under huge pressure.

"People are still becoming seriously ill and dying every day. It’s really important we keep doing everything we can to stop Covid spreading and to keep our loved ones, and each other, safe."

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

The council's We are Islington service is still on hand to help with people who need support with shopping, collecting medicines or money worries, or for anyone who needs a chat.

Call 020 7527 8222 seven days a week from 9am-5pm.

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