Local leaders in London are calling for people to treat frontline workers with kindness following a growing number of reports of increasingly hostile incidents.
This comes after stepping up London’s drive to get more Londoners vaccinated and tested while delivering other crucial face-to-face health and care services as we move towards the final phase of the coronavirus pandemic.
The NHS is vaccinating in line with JCVI guidance and people should ensure they have waited 8 weeks between their first and second doses of the vaccine.
An 8-week gap between jabs gives the best level of protection from Covid-19, and abuse or hostility towards staff who are following guidelines will not be tolerated.
Cllr Georgia Gould, Chair of London Councils, said:
“We are now reaching an important point in the battle against the pandemic. The vast majority of Londoners have been respectful and patient with the capital’s boroughs’ and NHS frontline staff as they work to help keep London safe.
“Unfortunately, some people are losing their patience and feel it is okay to be rude, abusive and sometime violent to these hard-working heroes who have worked ceaselessly for the last 16 months.
“Services will slowly return to some kind of normality, but testing and vaccinations are essential to establishing a route out of the pandemic. Even if you have a complaint or difference of opinion, please be respectful to people who have made caring for Londoners their priority throughout this public health crisis.
“The last year has been incredibly difficult for so many Londoners but we are a city that looks out for each other and we must keep this spirit alive, especially in this final push.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
“Frontline workers and volunteers who have stepped forward at a time of crisis to help deliver millions of lifesaving vaccinations across our city deserve nothing but our respect and gratitude. Jab after jab, they have helped increase our protection against the virus.
“I would urge all Londoners going to get their first or second vaccinations to show these heroes the respect they deserve. On behalf of all Londoners, I want to thank all those working so incredibly hard to protect us all throughout what has been a challenging time for our city.”
Medical Director for the NHS in London, Dr Vin Diwakar, said:
“Most Londoners have shown immense gratitude to those who’ve protected us throughout this pandemic, but sadly there are growing reports of abuse and aggression towards NHS teams.
“We take a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of abuse, and we know the public stands with us in supporting our incredible staff and volunteers as they work tirelessly to get London vaccinated and back to doing the things we love.”
To avoid disappointment, members of the public should check local websites for vaccination centre opening hours – and availability of the right vaccine for their age - before travelling or joining a queue.