Tube passengers told to ‘GO HOME’ and Sadiq Khan threatens to CUT services despite Boris urging Brits back to work – The Sun

TUBE passengers have been told to "go home" unless they are key workers in the latest confusion over the easing of lockdown rules.

It comes as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan issued an ultimatum to the Government and threatened cuts today, after Boris Johnson told workers to head back to the office if they can't work from home.



 


Simon Harris from ITV tweeted this morning: "London mayor @SadiqKhan issues ultimatum to government: Agree emergency bail out for Transport for London today or tube and bus services will be cut."

Mr Khan and the PM have been at loggerheads over wether Londoners should be able to travel – the Mayor faced criticism for reducing services at the start of the pandemic.

And he is now still adamant "lockdown has not been lifted", as differing advice sees people thinking they can go to work trying to cram into carriages.

Tube journeys were up by 10 per cent already today as Brits got back to work, but there continues to be mixed messages about what they should be doing.

The PM told anyone who needs to leave home to work they can, but urged them not to use public transport.

However thousands of people piled onto buses and trains yesterday, leaving ministers, transport workers and medics worried.

And today some TfL stations still have large signs in the entrances saying: "Essential workers, you can travel, thank you. Everybody else, go home, don't travel, save lives."

TfL said there were 10 per cent more Tube journeys made between 5am and 6am today than the same period last week, although demand has fallen compared with yesterday.

And research found the level of road congestion in London at 8am on Thursday was 19 per cent, up from 16 per cent a week earlier.

'LIFE OR DEATH'

Shocking pictures emerged yesterday of commuters crushed into Tubes and buses and unable to stay two metres from other passengers.

The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps even warned it was a "life or death" gamble, despite Government urges to get back to work.

He told the BBC yesterday: "This is a life and death situation and I do encourage people to look at the guidance for travelling on public transport.

"If you absolutely need to travel, wearing a face-covering – which is something you make at home rather than taking away PPE stock from medical situations – may be helpful and we ask people to do that.

"Not facing people, being side by side or back to back is better."

Transport for London reported a rise of 8.7 per cent in people using the Tube from 6am to 10am, compared to last Wednesday – nearly 5,700 additional journeys.

Earlier this week TfL said even when 100 per cent of services are back and running, only 15 per cent of the usual passenger capacity would be able to travel and keep two metres between them.

Yesterday a spokesman added they aim to have 75 per cent of Tube services and 85 per cent of bus services back by next week – after the Transport Secretary admitted yesterday even at full service only one in ten passengers would be able to be safely distanced.

The manager of Waterloo station said services rose to 45 per cent of normal capacity on Monday after running at 25 per cent at earlier stages of lockdown. Services will rise to 82 per cent from next Monday, he said.






Downing Street said there had been no "significant" increase in public transport use in London in response to the lockdown easing, claiming TfL had not reported "significant increases".

The RMT trade union has told workers they can "refuse to work" if they feel unsafe due to a "surge in passengers" following the easing of lockdown rules.

Yesterday London Underground workers slammed the conditions during peak travel as "a joke", warning "it will get worse". Services were suspended on the Victoria line as one person collapsed while commuting on the "heaving" Tubes.

Many carriages were so full each seat was taken, with only some of the passengers wearing face coverings and unable to face away from each other or remain distanced.

The message from the PM is to "stay alert" and stay at home as much as possible while the death and case toll continues to rise, but many Brits appear to have eagerly got back to work.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said: “One incident and we are reduced to crisis management with reports that social distancing is impossible with Tube carriages rammed. RMT warned this would happen and we were ignored.

“We are monitoring the situation and will discuss any appropriate action with our local reps.”


WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • People living in England can now spend an unlimited time outside exercising and sunbathing. While it is still encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, you can lie in a park and go for a longer run or bike ride while remaining safely distanced from others.
  • Households can now play certain sports together – such as tennis or golf or go angling. But for now you must still only play them with people you have been living with.
  • You can meet up with one other family member or friend you don't live with at a time. You can sit outside together but must not have contact and keep two metres between you at all times.
  • You are allowed to view a house but again, must take precautions and keep a safe distance from anyone you don't live with.
  • People are allowed to take day trips to get to the countryside, national parks and beaches in England – but have been urged to respect the local communities, keep a safe distance and avoid hotspots.

 

  • You are still not allowed to visit relatives or friends at home, or host them at your house.
  • If you can work from home, you should. Only those who absolutely cannot perform their job from home should be leaving the house to work.
  • Advice on avoiding public transport aside from essential journeys remains in place, and staying overnight at a holiday or second home is also not allowed.
  • Fines for those who break the rules will now start at £100 in England, and will double on each further repeat offence up to £3,200. Stricter rules remain in place in the rest of the UK.

The Cabinet Office has announced that five ministerial-led task forces will be established to determine how to reopen pubs, beauty salons, places of worship and leisure centres, as well as re-boot the aviation sector.

Among the slight changes to the rules yesterday is a relaxing of outdoors exercise restrictions – with cooped up Brits allowed to exercise as much as they want each day.

Social distancing remains in place and only certain sports are allowed to be played within household groups.

It is still not allowed to meet up with a group of pals in the park for a kickabout, but those living together can play tennis or golf and sit down in a park.

Friends and family members not living together are finally allowed to meet face-to-face – but only two people can meet at a time, still must not hug and need to remain two metres apart.

And many people unable to work from home are heading back to the office after weeks of coronavirus lockdown.

Anyone who doesn't absolutely have to take public transport shouldn't – walk, run or cycle your way to work instead, keeping a safe distance from others, new guidance from the Government says. But it adds if you do have to get on it, then try and face away from other people if you possibly can.

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If you go on public transport you should wear a mask or face covering and keep two metres from other travellers, it advises.

It is not legally required that commuters do so, but the Government now urges anyone in shops or on public transport to use one if they can't stay apart from others.

To cut down any chance of overcrowding, it is also recommended employers should be able to offer more flexible start times to try and avoid everyone piling onto public transport at rush hour.

This will help reduce the crowds and keep travelling as safe as possible – as normal services have not yet resumed and are still reduced.

Wash your hands as soon as you can after travelling anywhere, and before you head out of the front door. If you see hand sanitising stations anywhere, use them, the guidance says.

Britain's real coronavirus death toll has passed 40,000, concerning new analysis suggests.

Changes in the guidelines have caused confusion and anger – as people remain unable to visit relatives or friends at their homes, but can now be shown around a property for sale.

The move to unlock the housing market will enable buyers and renters to complete purchases and view properties in person, while visiting estate agents, developer sales offices or show homes will also be allowed.

Unlimited exercise, sunbathing and meeting one person from another household in a public space is now allowed, as long as the two-metre rule is respected, while golf clubs, tennis courts and angling have been given the green light.

Restrictions on how far people can travel to get to the countryside, national parks and beaches in England have also been lifted – but people have been warned to respect local communities, keep their distance from others and avoid hotspots or busy areas.

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