Statement from Cllr Stephen Cowan on the national lockdown measures

I welcome the Prime Minister’s statement and the series of lockdown measures that will now be in place and enforced across our country. Around the world, liberal democracies are taking similar measures as we seek to save lives and protect our citizens.

I understand how surreal this seems as we all come to terms with the changes needed to how we live our lives.

London is maybe two weeks or so ahead of the rest of the country in suffering the first effects of this contagion. Our NHS is doing everything it can to prepare but it is likely to be overwhelmed when the numbers of people demonstrating severe symptoms of the infection need medical care. So, it is absolutely right that these new measures are not optional and will be enforced by the authorities. They are:

  • Everyone must stay at home. The only times people will be permitted to leave their homes will be shopping for basic necessities (as infrequently as possible), doing one form of exercise a day, medical need, or travelling to and from essential work when it cannot be done from home.
  • Gatherings of more than two people, apart from of your household, are banned.
  • All non-essential retail will now be closed, as will places of worship and other communal places.

Even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are at least two metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

I know everyone in Hammersmith & Fulham wants to keep people safe and get through this. There are thousands of local people doing their bit to make that happen. I am truly grateful to the residents’ groups and community volunteers, to local charities and faith leaders, to businesses and our two local MPs, as they’re all working as one to meet that goal.

Working closely with the NHS, police and other partners, our team at Hammersmith & Fulham Council has been preparing all waking hours, seven days a week, for many weeks now to make a series of changes to get us ready as I mentioned previously. We’re all determined to keep vital services running, protect our most vulnerable residents, and save as many lives as possible. Together, that is exactly what we will do.

Take care, stay home, stay safe and save lives.

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