The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I welcome the publication of the Government’s roadmap today, which shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel and provides more information
for Londoners about what the next few months may look like if we continue to make progress reducing the spread of the virus. The health of individuals and the health of our businesses are intertwined.
“With case numbers still high and the presence of new variants across the country, it is understandable why the Prime Minister is taking a cautious approach. It is important that lessons are learnt from previous lockdowns when the Government lifted restrictions too soon and failed to get the virus under control, meaning us having to go back into further lockdowns.
“This must be the final lockdown that Londoners and people across the UK have to endure. We simply cannot risk completely lifting restrictions too early, leading to a surge in cases and further mutations in the virus which would put the whole roadmap and our economic recovery at risk.
“The Government’s focus on fully re-opening schools safely and then allowing people to meet outside is the right one, but there is still more they must do to ensure this roadmap is a success.
“Parents, teachers, support staff and employers still need more clarity and support on the roll out of widespread testing. Statutory sick pay and eligibility for self-isolation payments must be increased as a matter of urgency.
“It is also deeply frustrating that the Prime Minister outlined a roadmap today, but didn’t give businesses the certainty they desperately need that the business rates holiday, VAT relief and furlough scheme will be extended. It’s disgraceful that the three million people excluded from any financial support continue to be ignored.
“The recent reduction in case numbers in our city is thanks to the heroic efforts of Londoners staying at home and following the rules. But even with the roll out of the vaccine, we’re not out of the woods yet.”