Newham warned to not 'open door' to fresh wave of Covid-19 over Easter

A government coronavirus warning sign warns of the dangers of Covid.

People are being urged to stick to coronavirus rules to help avoid a third wave. - Credit: PA

People have been urged to follow Covid-19 rules to prevent a fresh wave of the virus as lockdown eases.

The call from Newham's director of public health, Jason Strelitz, comes after 145 new cases of coronavirus were recorded in the borough in the week to March 20 - falling from 163 the week before.

Mr Strelitz said: "This Easter weekend, please don’t open the door to a fresh wave of Covid-19.

"We have come such a long way in the battle against coronavirus, the vaccination programme is well underway, offering further light at the end of the tunnel.

"But now is not the time to relax – we have seen third waves of the virus in Europe – and we must all do our bit to avoid that here.

"We know the virus spreads much more easily indoors so please, this Bank Holiday, make the outdoors your place to renew social contacts.

“Enjoy the Easter break, enjoy some fresh air, but first and foremost keep yourselves, your loved ones and your community safe."

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By March 21, a total of 25 per cent of the borough's population received a first dose of the vaccine, according to council figures. This equates to 90,125 people.

There have been 35,041 cases of the virus in Newham since the pandemic started. 

Mr Strelitz urged people to follow the latest rules, practise social distancing, always have a face mask available for use indoors or on public transport and wash their hands.

From this week, some of the social and leisure restrictions imposed to halt the spread of the virus are being eased.

People will be allowed to meet outside, either in groups of up to six from different households or from two households.

Children under the age of five do not count within restrictions and up to two carers per person are also permitted within the limits.

Outdoor settings include public open spaces like parks and private spaces such as gardens. Social distancing rules still apply to people from different households meeting, even outside.

In Newham, residents will once again be able to use tennis and basketball courts, outdoor gyms and pitches for organised sport, including cricket and football.