UK: London commuters ‘ram-packed’ in Tube despite coronavirus lockdown

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The morning after Prime Minister Boris Johnson placed the UK in a three-week lockdown, photographs of London’s Tube system show many services completely ‘ram-packed’.

One person tweeted: “Still seeing London’s tubes packed. Bare hands holding rails, people not even wearing masks even though they are rubbing shoulders. This lockdown requires a severe tightening up. People taking the p*** in order to get paid until the last moment.”

Another lamented: “Tube ram-packed again.”

Social media users have tweeted to remind people that many essential workers – such as NHS and care staff – still require public transport to travel, while others have shared their concern for non-essential workers like retail staff who are being made to come into work by their employers.

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But this morning London Mayor Sadiq Khan reiterated Johnson’s order to work from home wherever possible this morning, having stressed that the measures implemented by the government are ‘there to stop the virus spreading’.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Khan said: “One of the reasons why I’m pleased the Prime Minister made his announcement last night is because it’s provided clarity.

“I think the messages have been mixed and the public don’t appear to understand the importance of following the message ‘everyone should stay at home – full stop’.

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“Unless you’ve got exceptional reasons to leave home, everyone should work from home. Unless it’s critical for you to go to work and if you’re going to work, the key thing is to make sure you understand what the rules are and why they’re there. They’re there to stop the virus spreading.

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“My message again, not just to Londoners, but those who are maybe thinking about coming in to London because they work in London, is: don’t work from home unless you have a very good reason why you need to work, and if you’ve got to go to work for a very good reason, please don’t do so during rush hour.

“Public transport is running for essential workers to get to and from work from home because they can’t work from home.”

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