Sadiq Khan warns against becoming complacent as Covid-19 alert level lowered

19 June 2020, 15:36 | Updated: 19 June 2020, 15:38

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The Mayor of London has told LBC it is "great news" that the coronavirus alert level has gone down from four to three but warned people things have not gone back to normal.

Speaking to Shelagh Fogarty, Sadiq Khan said it showed the "monumental sacrifice we've all made staying at home during this lockdown appears to be paying off."

The Mayor said it was good news as "fewer people are catching the virus, fewer people losing their lives, fewer people being bereaved."

He told LBC the lowering of the alert level also means "we can move towards transition and recovery."

Mr Khan said this would be a positive move for those in education and also for businesses.

The Mayor's comments come after the UK's chief medical officers agreed to downgrade the coronavirus alert level from four to three, after a "steady" and continuing decrease in cases in all four nations.

Localised outbreaks of Covid-19 are still "likely" to occur, the advisers warned, and the virus remains in general circulation.

But the downgrading - recommended by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) - means transmission of coronavirus is no longer considered to be "high or rising exponentially".

The Mayor told LBC it was great news the alert level dropped
The Mayor told LBC it was great news the alert level dropped. Picture: LBC

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The Mayor said it was important to welcome this good news, but still take all the safeguards to protect against Covid-19 people were previously taking.

"The doom and gloom helps nobody," the Mayor told Shelagh, he said the nation needed a road back to normality.

He warned with weather experts predicting a heatwave next week against "things returning to normal," which he warned, "could lead to the virus coming up again."

Shelagh asked if he wanted to see a wider introduction of compulsory face coverings, outside of just on public transport.

The Mayor said it had been one of his "frustrations" that as a country the UK appears to have been behind the curve" and was "playing catchup" when it comes to Covid-19.

He said it was quite clear from other international guidance, including from the World Health Organisation, that face masks should be used in a wide range of settings.

Mr Khan said he wanted the Government to move to a stage where face coverings were compulsory, "what's the downside," he asked.