End of Covid restrictions: Sadiq Khan stands down ‘major incident’ but urges Londoners to remain vigilant

While the number of cases has reduced, there remain 3,059 Covid-19 patients in London hospitals and 191 in on ventilators.

Sadiq Khan has stood down London’s “major incident” status over the Omicron Covid variant but has warned that the city will remain on “high alert”.

The mayor of London said: “Our NHS and emergency services have gone above and beyond during an extremely testing period for our city.

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

“Everyone who wore a mask, took a lateral flow test or followed the advice to work from home where possible, has played their part in reducing the pressure they faced and enabled us to stand down the ‘major incident’ in London today.”

The decision was regularly reviewed by City Hall and leaders from NHS London, local authorities, public health officials and the emergency services in the capital.

Due to the gradual improvement in the number of cases in the capital, the reduction in pressure on emergency services and a significant improvement in staff absences, Mr Khan took the decision on Friday to stand down the “major incident”.

While the number of cases has reduced, there remain 3,059 Covid-19 patients in London hospitals and 191 in mechanical ventilation beds, therefore the city is to remain on “high alert.”

“The virus and the Omicron variant is still with us and daily infection rates are still too high,” Mr Khan continued.

“That’s why we must all remain vigilant and continue to do the things that have allowed our city to reopen safely.

“Wearing a face covering remains one of the single most important and easiest things we can all do to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and that’s why I’m renewing my calls for the Government to rethink their plans and keep legislation in place to make them mandatory on public transport.

“They still have a huge role to play in keeping our city open and our friends, family and communities protected.

“Covid-19 continues to pose a significant threat and our hospitals remain under pressure.

(Photo: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

While councillor Georgia Gould, chair of London Councils, said: “London’s communities have shown their amazing resilience and compassion throughout the latest Omicron wave of Covid.

“People have been coming forward for their first, second and booster jabs, wearing face masks and testing regularly, playing their part in keeping London safe and protecting the NHS and local services.

“The Mayor’s decision today shows how far we have come in London in just a few weeks.

“ But it’s not over yet. Case rates remain high, NHS and social care are still busy with Covid and winter pressures and there are Londoners that have not had all of their vaccinations.

“Boroughs will be working with the Mayor and other London partners to ensure we continue to bring Covid rates and hospitalisations down and working to support our communities.”