'Do the right thing and keep wearing face masks from July 19,' council says

Rules on face coverings in public will be extended on August 8. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Images

Newham Council is urging people to keep wearing face masks in public from July 19. - Credit: Archant

Newham’s mayor and public health boss have urged the community to do “the right thing” by continuing to wear face masks after July 19.

Face coverings will no longer be legally required in shops, public transport and other indoor public areas when the remaining Covid restrictions are lifted on Monday, but the government says people are expected to still wear them in enclosed and crowded spaces.

With the rate of infection rising in Newham and only 35 per cent of adults in the borough fully vaccinated with two jabs - half the UK average - the town hall says people still need to be cautious.

Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, said: “It is the right thing to do for everyone to continue to wear masks as they do now in order to keep each other safe.

“With only 35pc of people fully vaccinated, Newham people are at serious risk from the coming third wave.

“I am fighting hard to make sure Newham gets its fair share of vaccinations but until everyone is fully vaccinated, we must keep each other safe by continuing to wear masks as before.”

The town hall is asking anyone entering, or working in, council buildings to wash their hands, wear masks and maintain social distancing.

Meanwhile, mayor of London Sadiq Khan has asked Transport for London chiefs to enforce the wearing of face coverings by passengers on trains and buses in the capital.

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Only 56 per cent of adults in Newham have had their first Covid jab compared with 87pc across the UK. 

The council says it is doing all it can to increase the number of people who have been vaccinated and has daily events for adults to get a jab. 

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Newham director of public health Jason Strelitz said: “Whilst many of us will enjoy these new freedoms, I am acutely aware of those with underlining health issues who may feel anxious and we should all still act cautiously in reacting to the latest easing of restrictions by taking care of our loved ones.

“Let’s help each other by following the simple rules of stay safe, wash your hands and wear a mask where appropriate."

In a recent survey of Archant readers, 64pc of respondents said they will continue to wear face coverings in public from July 19 and 73pc said they will still try to maintain social distancing.

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