The leader of Harrow Council insists the borough will not be subject to a “drastic local lockdown” despite a rise in Covid-19 cases that means it is now an “area of national concern”.

Cllr Graham Henson issued a statement to residents, assuring them Harrow is, at this stage, not facing additional restrictions previously implemented in places including Leicester and areas of Greater Manchester.

It comes after a report presented to the council’s cabinet on Thursday (September 10) showed infections in the borough were above 20 per 100,000 residents.

Cllr Henson explains this has enabled the council to request further support and testing capabilities, but he believes it is a long way off imposing stronger conditions on the public.

He said: “There have been numerous reports in the press and across social media about the significant rise across the county of people being tested positive for Covid-19 and residents, like us, are quite rightly worried about a second wave of the virus.

“The infection rate in Harrow was at 26.4 people per 100,000 residents, latest data shows.

“To put that into context, in Bolton, where the Government has intervened, the rate is 192 people per 100,000 residents.

“Currently, there are no plans for the drastic local lockdown action in the borough as there has been in other parts of the country, however, we will not hesitate in using the new enforcement and closure powers if we need to.”

The cabinet report outlined the council’s plans if the situation escalated, including that a possible lockdown could have to be managed if cases surpass 50 per 100,000 residents.

It noted the council would follow the advice of national government as to which restrictions would be put in place to control a larger outbreak, including any premises closures and limits on social interactions.

Cllr Henson repeated his call for the public to remain vigilant to help reduce the risk of any new measures being implemented.

He said: “If we are to reduce the spread of the virus in Harrow we must all continue to do our bit – by continuing to wash our hands and wear face coverings and social distancing where possible. Remember the Hands, Face, Space mantra.

“The new rule of six is now effective and we must all see it as a helpful means of virus control.

“It is there to protect our friends and families and save lives. Remember to get tested if you have any symptoms and let’s work together to track Covid-19. We must be all doing our bit to keep Harrow safe.”