Statement from Leader of Hounslow Council, Councillor Steve Curran on localised COVID-19 travel guidance
Published: Tuesday, 25th May 2021
“It is unbelievable that new guidance came to light only by checking the Government website. Hounslow Council was not informed that we were subject to surge testing and vaccination in advance of the Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock’s announcement in the House of Commons last Wednesday. Ministers have been saying that we were informed prior to the changes. This is simply not true. Unfortunately, history is now repeating itself and again, we were not informed in advance of changes to the Government’s travel guidance for Hounslow. To date I have received no communication at all from the Government. This is another example of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. It's shambolic.
“This Government needs to step up and start communicating with councils properly. It needs to inform us directly of decisions and give us time to put measures in place to inform, protect and support our communities. Anything short of that risks lives.
“We need clear, joined-up thinking and communication between Central Government, the NHS, Public Health England and local authorities. The current communication from Government on our national COVID response is woefully lacking.
“Thankfully, through the great work of the Council with NHS colleagues, we have mobilised and stepped up for our communities, rolling out extra testing and vaccination sites, and we are seeing a strong community response to that.
“For one of London’s most connected boroughs – with Heathrow on its doorstep, the M4 and A4 running through it, the Piccadilly Line, the main line from Waterloo, plus the North Circular via Kew Bridge - to try and limit travel within its borders is not only impossible, it’s a ridiculous idea.”