The office of the Mayor of London, Mr Sadiq Khan has for the first time opened up on the challenges Londoners could face post covid19.
In a letter sighted by Ghanamatters.com to all constituents in the capital, Mr Khan said, there will be no return to life as it was before the virus – instead we face a ‘new normal’ even once lockdown is eased. We may be able to occasionally see our closest loved ones – but interactions will be limited and for a while there will be no larger gatherings.
This explains life has changed for humanity and that people must embrace the new normal and make do the best out of it.
The letter also highlights the challenges facing commuters and residents in the capital.
Mayor Khan said, while non-essential shops will be able to reopen after introducing social distancing measures, it is difficult to see how this can safely be extended to bars, restaurants or social spaces in a practicable way soon. And most people who are currently able to work from home will need to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.
London’s public transport system poses specific challenges to maintaining social distancing. People using public transport are likely to have to use non-medical face coverings to reduce the risk to our incredible staff and to other commuters. Start times for schools and workplaces will have to be staggered throughout the day to avoid a congested rush hour and limit overcrowding. We will have to take action to enable many more Londoners to walk or cycle. And there will be longer-term consequences of the financial challenges Covid-19 has caused for TfL and other transport providers.
Even beyond the easing of lockdown, we shouldn’t look backwards to life as it was before this virus, because Covid-19 has exposed the fragility in our society and deep flaws in our economy, he added.
More than 8 million people could be furloughed as a result of Covid -19 and this direct support will be needed long into the future. Millions face destitution because they lack adequate workplace rights and the inequity of the gig economy and zero-hour contracts can no longer be ignored. With many of the things that define our great city likely to be absent for some time – a booming night-life, bustling atmosphere and welcoming people from around the world – we will need unprecedented Government support to keep the economy moving.
The Labour Party must be at the forefront of designing the better, fairer and greener city, country and world we want to see once this crisis is over – particularly as we head into the London elections next year, Mayor Sadiq Khan added.