We must remain vigilant as City of London reopens


When zero COVID-19 deaths were reported last week, it was a stark reminder of how far we have come in tackling this pandemic.

And we are soon set to reach stage four of the Roadmap. 

If the Government decides to go ahead it will mean the relaxing of all major restrictions on 21 June.

In other words, we get to invite into our homes as many friends and family as we like; a freedom that we have all been waiting for, for a long time.

However, we must remember that COVID-19 will remain part of our lives for the foreseeable future. Hands, face, space and fresh air must become second nature to us all.

And we may still have to wear masks in some places but that will surely feel like the smallest of infringements on our liberty compared to what we have all endured over the past year. 

It is also important that businesses, who may see an increase in staff coming back to offices over the coming weeks, continue to adhere to the rules to protect their employees and prevent outbreaks of the virus. 

Anybody who walks around the Square Mile will know that visitors flock to heritage sites like St Paul’s Cathedral, The Monument, and Tower Bridge.

Indeed, prior to the pandemic, there were 7.4 million annual visits to the City’s creative and heritage attractions.

COVID-19 has clearly had a devastating impact on the whole capital’s tourism and cultural sectors.

But we will make sure that the City builds back better and remains a vibrant and buzzing destination for residents, workers and visitors alike.

That’s why we have extended the deadline for submissions to our COVID Business Recovery Fund to 30 June 2021.

It offers up to £50 million of support for SMEs which contribute to the Square Mile’s vibrancy at street level and which directly provide services to returning City workers, visitors and residents. 

This pandemic has been a hugely challenging time for us all, so taking this next step safely is important.   

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We must remember to keep up the good work for a little while longer and continue to follow the rules in order to keep control of the virus.

To help us tackle coronavirus in all City communities we are seeking volunteers to help us share all the latest public health messages.

To get involved, please call 0207 241 4443 to join our team of City Public Health Community Champions.

It is important to remember to get tested if you have symptoms and to test twice weekly if you must go out to work. 

The Square Mile hosts two test sites for people with and without symptoms. To find out where they are located visit the City of London Corporation website.

If you test positive for COVID-19 and are told to self-isolate, but you are not able to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating, you may be eligible for a £500 payment. You can call the City Corporation on 020 7332 3937 to find out more.

Thousands of people living in the City have already been vaccinated and more than 65 million vaccinations have been given in the UK.

For our residents and workers, we have a community pharmacy vaccination site at Boots, 120 Fleet Street – the Square Mile’s dedicated vaccination site. 

Visit the NHS website or call 119 for the current eligibility criteria, and information on how to book. 

Getting both doses of your vaccine as soon as you are offered them will offer the best protection possible to you, your family and those you care for. 

We have come so far through this pandemic. Let’s continue to take these next steps safely and enjoy the gradual return of our freedoms.

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