Coronavirus: Mayor of Newham welcomes stricter social distancing measures

People are only allowed to leave their homes for a limited number of reasons. Picture: Ken Mears

People are only allowed to leave their homes for a limited number of reasons. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz has welcomed the new measures imposed by the prime minister to enforce social distancing.

Boris Johnson’s announcement, made last night (Monday, March 23) ordered people to stay at home for the next three weeks, with only a few exceptions, in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Ms Fiaz said: “We welcome the prime minister’s statement urging people to limit travel, to stay at home and to practise social distancing.”

Among the emergency measures, to be reviewed in three weeks, people will only be allowed out of their homes to buy food or medicine, to exercise once a day, or to work in an essential job.

Non-essential retail businesses will be required to close, as will playgrounds in parks and libraries, and no social events will be allowed to take place with the exception of funerals.

People will also be prevented from gathering in groups of more than two people.

Ms Fiaz said: “We all need to play our part in stopping the spread of coronavirus, which is why we have taken the decision to change the way we are delivering some of our council services.

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“Please be reassured that we are doing everything we can to maintain as much business as normal, but we need to protect residents and our staff from unnecessary risk.”

Rubbish will still be collected but green, bulky and commercial waste collections have been suspended.

Council surgeries will be carried out over the phone, as will health visits as far as possible.

Confirmed cases and deaths of people with Covid-19, and continue to rise in the UK.

In Newham, there have been six deaths of people confirmed to have the virus, with 70 confirmed infections as of yesterday.

Ms Fiaz said: “To be frank, we expect the figures in Newham to rise.

“My heartfelt condolences to those families who have lost loved ones, and I wish those infected a speedy recovery.”

A full list of the Newham Council services that are affected by the latest government announcement can be found at​