Commuters in London yesterday shared images of crowded underground trains after the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, told workers who could not work from home on Sunday to go to work Monday morning, resulting in many East Londoners voicing their concerns as many will be forced to use public transport.
Hackney MP Diane Abbott hit out at plan, warning that many Londoners will be forced to use public transportation to go to work.
In his speech, broadcast 7pm on Sunday, Johnson said: “We now need to stress that anyone who can’t work from home, for instance those in construction or manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work.”
He added that public transport should be avoided if possible, by using a car, bike, walking, and so on, posing a dilemma for many workers who rely on public transport to go to work.
In East London, a large part of the population is likely to have this problem: 41% of Tower Hamlets residents, for example, rely on public transportation, and around 40% work in jobs requiring the individual to be on site.
Images circulating on social media illustrated the frustration of residents at the crowded modes of transport, and unclear guidelines from the PM:
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, also responded to the public’s confusion by posting a follow-up video with advice, and by clarifying guidelines on television this morning:
In the announcement, the PM also said that as of Wednesday 13 May, restrictions will loosen further to allow citizens to go to their local parks, as well as exercise outside as much as they want.
He also stated that the country will only move to the next phase along the ‘roadmap’ when the health data supports these plans.
*An image used on an earlier version of this story published on Tuesday 12 May showing a crowded Tube was actually from 2005. This was a genuine error, which we have rectified, and we apologise for any confusion.