Council leader warns against complacency as COVID cases rise

Richmond Council’s leader has called on people to not get complacent as COVID cases rise in the area.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Gareth Roberts’ comments have come after the Conservative government announced new restrictions to reduce the transmission of the Omicron variant.

The number of COVID cases is currently rising in the area, with 245 new people testing positive for COVID in the last 24 hours.

In a press release, the Councillor said: “This is a worrying development, and whilst we don’t know a huge amount, the emergence of the Omicron variant is a scary reminder that COVID-19 can still play havoc with our lives, therefore we must all step up our guard and not be complacent.

“We currently have some of the highest COVID case numbers in London, so we really need to rally together.”

Roberts urged people in the area to test themselves more regularly, and to wear face masks in indoor public spaces.

He said: “We need to seriously consider our surroundings when we meet people, including ensuring venues are well ventilated.

“I know it’s a touch nippy right now but it’s so important. And we must all get fully vaccinated or have the boosters when eligible.”

Roberts also called on the Government to act quickly, and to make its mind up over the restrictions for the festive period.

He said: “What none of us want to see is a repeat of the uncertainty we saw this time last year and the potential to be plunged back into more restrictions in the New Year.

“If we take sensible steps now, follow the rules, get vaccinated and keep on testing, that scenario is entirely avoidable.”

At a national level, the Liberal Democrats had been calling for the Government to introduce its plan B measures sooner, even before the emergence of the Omicron variant.

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