‘Major incident’ declared due to rapid spread of coronavirus
Council Leader Councillor Teresa O’Neill OBE has backed the decision to declare a ‘major incident’ due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus across the capital and the increase of Covid-19 cases in hospitals, which has left the NHS and other vital public services at risk.
Councillor O’Neill said: “Our hospitals and other public services are at risk of being overwhelmed. Please stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary for you to leave and wear your face covering outside the house whenever you are near others. We owe it to the many Londoners in hospital and the carers fighting to save lives to do everything we can to keep everyone safe.”
National lockdown announced
On Tuesday the Prime Minister announced a national lockdown and instructed people to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.
People are now only allowed to leave their homes for the following reasons:
- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person.go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse) attend education or childcare – for those eligible
Enforcement of new lockdown restrictions
Londoners breaching Covid legislation are more likely to face fines now that the new national lockdown has come into force.
Although Met police officers will still apply the 4 E’s approach of engaging, explaining, and encouraging – only then enforcing, the Met has issued refreshed instructions to officers to issue fines more quickly to anyone committing obvious, wilful and serious breaches.
All those attending parties, unlicensed music events or large illegal gatherings, can expect to be fined – not just the organisers. Similarly, those not wearing masks where they should be and without good reason can expect to be fined – not reasoned with. Additionally, with fewer “reasonable excuses” for people to be away from their home in the regulations, Londoners can expect officers to be more inquisitive as to why they see them out and about. Where officers identify people without a lawful reason to be away from home they can expect officers to move more quickly to enforcement. A new digital fines system makes it quicker and easier for officers to issue fines on the spot.
Grant application deadline extended
The ARG is funding provided to local authorities by central Government to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This funding is to help businesses that are not eligible for other business support grants and for businesses that fit into specific sectors particularly vulnerable within the London Borough of Bexley.
Applications should be in by 5pm on Friday 22 January. We will be processing applications received prior to 8 January as soon as possible.