Scaremongering COVID-19 article does not reflect local position, says Council

Release Date: 30 June 2020

Press release updated 3 July 2020 to include latest figures.

Richmond upon Thames is not currently at risk of another lockdown – despite reports in a national newspaper today.

The Daily Express have published a report outlining 36 boroughs who are allegedly at risk of lockdown – placing Richmond upon Thames on their list.

Whilst coronavirus has not been eradicated from the borough, Richmond upon Thames generally has a very low rate of cases compared to other London boroughs.

The Government has now published (2 July) Pillar One and Pillar Two combined figures showing that since the start of the pandemic - Richmond upon Thames has seen a total of 531 confirmed cases. See the latest figures here.

It is entirely expected that cases will begin to rise as people begin to emerge from lockdown and the Government’s Test and Trace programme expands.

It is important that residents understand that whilst the current numbers in the borough are low, the risk of coronavirus has not gone away.

Local people are reminded to stay vigilant, adhering to the Government guidance – washing hands regularly, social distancing and wearing face masks on public transport.

If you do feel unwell, self-isolate immediately and apply for a COVID-19 test.

Cllr Piers Allen, Chair of the Adult Social Care and Housing Committee, and Chair of the Richmond Health and Wellbeing Board, added:

"Despite reports in the national papers, Richmond is not about to go into another lockdown. It is grossly irresponsible of the Daily Express to publish a report without double checking their information first.

"However, it would be naive to suggest that we haven’t got any local cases – but compared to elsewhere in the country, our numbers are low.

"We want to rid our borough of coronavirus – and we can only do this if residents play their part.

"Should we ever be in a position where we do have a local outbreak, we will be publishing our plan later this week on how we would work with our local partners to respond.”

See an update of local figures.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P260/20

Updated: 3 July 2020