London cityscape

London councils urge Londoners to continue testing despite pandemic fatigue

London borough councils are urging every single Londoner to do their bit in order to keep everyone safe from COVID, despite the widespread onset of pandemic fatigue.

London Councils, a cross-party organisation that represents all 32 of London’s borough councils, is asking all London residents to continue following public health advice, get their vaccinations, and do regular tests to keep hospital admissions low and loved ones safe. 

The request followed a sharp rise in London’s COVID cases during the run up to Christmas, with hospitals caring for over 4000 people as of early January 2022.

Councillor Danny Thorpe, London Councils’ Executive Member for Health and Care said: “I am proud of the way Londoners have pulled together to face the Omicron variant, but we need to push through pandemic fatigue and keep going.

“All Londoners have a part to play in reducing transmission of the virus.

“Whether it’s testing twice a week, washing your hands regularly, or business owners keeping staff and customers safe, every effort to protect yourself and others is vital.

“I cannot stress enough how crucial the vaccination programme is in protecting yourself from Covid-19.”

London’s seven-day COVID case rates at the beginning of 2022 were at 1.7% of the population, with case rates among over-60s and vulnerable people also on the rise. 

New Years and Christmas celebrations are expected to cause a spike in reported cases, with current London hospital admissions being at their highest since February 2021. 

Councillor Thorpe acknowledged that accessing testing kits had been difficult for many in recent weeks, but that efforts were being made to address this problem.

Thorpe added: “A slight fall in case rates in recent weeks might seem like the good news we’re all hoping for, but public health experts are telling us not to be complacent as we are yet to see the impact of the New Year socialising and schools reopening, which are very likely to have increased transmission.”

London Councils have implored anyone that is eligible to get their COVID vaccine or booster jab, with the current vaccination rate across London boroughs roughly around 90%.

Thorpe insisted that all councils are committed to supporting all of London’s communities and businesses through these difficult times, and that continued collaboration with the NHS remains a top priority in order to keep up vaccination rates. 

If you would like to get more information about COVID-19 vaccinations, see the NHS website, or contact your local GP or vaccination drop-in centre. 

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