The good news from the Prime Minister yesterday is that from 4th July, pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers can reopen. This must come as a great relief to many businesses in the borough who have been forced to shut since the end of March.
As well as this, two households will also be able to meet indoors and stay overnight as long as social distancing is maintained.
He also announced a slight loosening of the 2m distance rule. We should try and keep 2m apart where possible but in some circumstances a ‘one metre plus’ rule will apply. This will be welcome news to many businesses such as hospitality whose livelihoods depend on filling their venues.
However, it is recommended that in these circumstances, measures should be taken to try and reduce the risk of transmission. They include not sitting face-to-face, cutting the number of people in an enclosed space, or by having hand-sanitiser available to use.
I would like to echo the Prime Minister’s views when he said that the virus is still not defeated so we must remain vigilant. I would ask everyone to try and maintain at least 2m distance from each other where possible and to remember to wear face coverings when on public transport. This will continue to help us reduce the spread of the virus.

Last week, the Department of Health released statistics from the second week of the operation of NHS Test & Trace.

  • 4,366 (73.4%) of the people who had tested positive for coronavirus were reached by contact tracers and asked to share details of their close contacts.
  • 40,690 (90.6%) of close contacts were reached and advised to self-isolate.

A number of improvements have also been made to the service, including:

  • Requesting tests have been made easier, removing the need to copy a 16 digit code between websites when a test is booked
  • Some labs staying open overnight and at weekends
  • The integration of test results to GP records

I mentioned in a previous newsletter about the rise in phone and online scammers since lockdown began. One of the most recent scams is around the Test and Trace service.
Scammers are trying to con people out of money by pretending to be from the NHS Test and Trace Service. They are attempting to exploit the system through bogus phone calls, emails and text messages which ask for bank card details to cover the cost of the testing kit. The genuine NHS service is free.
In the scam, people are informed that they have been in contact with somebody who has tested positive for coronavirus and that they need to self-isolate and take a test. The scammers refuse to disclose who the householder has been in contact with but ask them to confirm their address so a testing kit can be sent to them. Bank card details are then requested – purportedly to cover the cost of the testing kit.
The genuine NHS Test and Trace Service will never ask for any payment and don’t need bank account details, passwords or PIN numbers. They will not ask people to call a premium rate number to speak to the NHS (for example, those starting 09 or 087).
So please be vigilant and don’t give out your bank details to anyone who you think may be scammers.

The British Safety Council is a charity and membership organisation campaigning to ensure no-one is made or injured through their work. They want to help employers make workplaces Covid-19 safe as the lockdown ends.
They have developed a detailed general return to work guide across all sectors. The guide is available free for any employer to read here.


More school streets to be rolled out across Richmond
Sixteen more school streets will be rolled out across the borough, thanks to funding secured from Transport for London. Over the next few weeks, the schools will be identified and using an Experimental Traffic Order, measures will be put in place to ensure these ‘School Streets’ are up and running in time for September.
A School Street is where a road(s) around a school temporarily closes to all motor vehicles except those of the immediate road residents; thereby becoming a pedestrian and cycle zone during the school’s opening and closing times. They ensure a safer space for children around their school, contribute to reduced local pollution and encourage parents and children to opt for sustainable travel methods, like walking and cycling.
As with the first three ‘School Streets’ the first six months of implementation will be a consultative period, where residents, parents and the school community can feedback their impressions. Should the trials be successful, the Order will be made permanent.
For more information or if you are a school that is interested in having a School Street, email:


Sarah Olney MP

Earlier updates can be accessed here.