NHS London and SCG in plea for Londoners to stay at home this Easter weekend

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NHS London and London’s Strategic Coordination Group (SCG) are urging Londoners to stay at home this bank holiday weekend to save lives and ease the pressure on the NHS and its frontline staff in the capital.

The message to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives has been delivered in a social media campaign video by key frontline doctors and nurses in London ahead of Easter weekend.

According to polling commissioned by the GLA and undertaken by YouGov, 83% of Londoners have changed their behaviour during the coronavirus outbreak and 80% have said they have avoided crowded spaces.

But last weekend saw a minority in the capital flouting Government instructions, particularly in London’s parks and outdoor spaces.

Official Government guidance remains the same. You should only leave the house for very limited purposes:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home

If you do go out, minimise time spent outside of the home and make sure you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household. Do not leave your house to meet those outside your household – even friends or family.

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Wash your hands as soon as you get home.

Everyone must also stop all public gatherings of more than two people unless you live together.

Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director for the NHS in London said: “We face unprecedented challenges in the fight against coronavirus and the NHS is fighting tirelessly to save the lives of Londoners and provide the healthcare that people need. Sadly, the number of people who have died in London hospitals is now approaching 2,000 and this is expected to increase until the rate of infection peaks.

“The best way we can all work together to beat this virus is to follow the Government guidelines and stay at home.

“We understand how difficult this is, but we can work together and come through this if we stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

Deputy chair of London’s SCG, Eleanor Kelly, added: “We understand the public health benefits that open spaces bring during this challenging time.

“But it is important that our parks and public spaces are used responsibly and in a manner that adheres to Government instructions. The overwhelming majority of Londoners are abiding by Government guidance and minimising their trips outside, but there is a minority who are not.

“London’s NHS staff and other key workers are dong a tremendous job working tirelessly on the frontline to help others. Our message to Londoners is clear: we all need to play our part by staying at home, protecting the NHS and saving lives this bank holiday weekend.”

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