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Major incident in London stood down but mayor urges caution over Omicron


By PA News

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan praised NHS staff (PA)

The major incident declared in London last month as Omicron spread across the capital has been stood down.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan took the decision on December 18 to declare a major incident due to the spread of the variant, a rise in patients in London hospitals and the impact of staff absences in frontline services.

Mr Khan said he is standing down the major incident status but warned the city will remain on high alert.

The mayor’s office said the decision comes following the gradual improvement in the number of cases in the capital, the pressures on critical services delivery reducing to manageable levels and a significant improvement in staff absences.

Mr Khan said: “Our NHS and emergency services have gone above and beyond during an extremely testing period for our city.

“Everyone who wore a mask, took a lateral flow test or followed the advice to work from home where possible, has played their part in reducing the pressure they faced and enabled us to stand down the ‘major incident’ in London today.

“But the virus and the Omicron variant is still with us and daily infection rates are still too high.

“That’s why we must all remain vigilant and continue to do the things that have allowed our city to reopen safely.

“Wearing a face covering remains one of the single most important and easiest things we can all do to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and that’s why I’m renewing my calls for the Government to rethink their plans and keep legislation in place to make them mandatory on public transport.

“They still have a huge role to play in keeping our city open and our friends, family and communities protected.

“Covid-19 continues to pose a significant threat and our hospitals remain under pressure.

“That’s why it’s crucial that Londoners test regularly and report their results, come forward for vaccinations, and continue to wear a face covering when travelling on TfL services, where it remains a condition of carriage.”

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