BREAKING COVID19 LONDON

Police are urging the public to enjoy London safely this weekend now some restrictions have eased

With warm temperatures also expected, members of the public are being asked to carry on playing their part to control the spread of coronavirus ahead of what is predicted to be a busy Bank Holiday weekend.

Groups of six, or two households, are allowed to meet outside and people can take part in outdoor activities, such as tennis and open-air swimming.

However, large gatherings – unless certain exemptions apply – remain unlawful and risk further spreading the virus.

These include house parties and unlicensed music events, which often see large numbers of people gathered in tightly compacted venues or dangerously derelict buildings, and officers will be shutting down any such gatherings.

The Met is also aware of a number of groups planning demonstrations in areas of London throughout the weekend. While gathering for the purpose of a protest can be exempt, organisers must submit a risk assessment and take clear steps to make their gathering safe. Enforcement action will be taken, if needed, in the interests of public health.

Officers will remain highly visible in communities, including open spaces, over the weekend, and will be engaging with Londoners.

Police will continue responding to incidents where groups of more than six are gathered, reminding the public of fines for breaching coronavirus guidelines.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors, leading the Met’s strategic response to Covid-19, said: “While we welcome the limited relaxation of rules, we don’t want to become complacent.

“We are hugely grateful to the vast majority of Londoners who have played a vital part in controlling the spread of the virus up to now. After a long and difficult few months, let’s not undo all of that hard work now.

“With nice weather on the way, we can expect to see parks and beauty spots busier than usual. Please stay safe and continue to follow the rules. Don’t crowd in open spaces and do follow the rule of six, or, only meet up with one other household.

“Wherever possible, we should continue to be vigilant, minimise our contact as much as possible, wear a face covering where required and keep ourselves safe. That means avoiding any large gathering.

“We cannot allow the selfish actions of a small minority of people to jeopardise the efforts of this city. We will continue to shut down house parties or dangerous raves quickly, taking enforcement action by handing out fines. We make no apology for our tough stance on shutting down those large gatherings which pose a serious risk to public health.

“Met officers will be highly visible in communities and neighbourhoods, including open spaces, engaging with the public. We want to work together with Londoners to keep everyone safe.”

The Met encourages those looking to organise a protest or large gathering to read an open letter from the Met’s lead for public order policing.