Londoners fleeing Tier 4 branded ‘irresponsible’ by Health Secretary

By Joe Talora, local democracy reporter

Londoners have been urged not to travel during Tier 4 restrictions following scenes of overcrowding at St Pancras station over the weekend.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock branded people trying to flee the capital following the announcement that travelling to and from Tier 4 areas would be banned from Sunday as  “irresponsible” .

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has once again urged Londoners to follow the rules and “stay in London”, warning that many people might have the virus without showing symptoms.

Speaking to LBC Radio, Mr Khan said: “You may have the virus, you may pass it on to an elderly relation at a time when the vaccine is being rolled out. So how are you going to feel if you, God forbid, pass the virus on to someone who may be getting the vaccine soon?

“Please stay in London, follow the rules. Let’s try and get on top of this virus.”

Anyone who had booked travel during the now-scrapped Christmas travel window, between December 23 and 27, will now be eligible for a refund.

The Government announced today that cash refunds will be given for domestic rail and coach journeys that had been booked for the travel window, provided they were booked before the rule change on December 19.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It is imperative that we all follow the new measures and play our part in tackling this virus, protecting others and safeguarding our NHS.

“If you booked a coach or rail journey between 23 and 27 December, you are entitled to a cash refund. This ensures no one is left out of pocket for doing the right thing – staying home in Tier 4, and elsewhere staying local and only meeting your Christmas bubble on Christmas day.”

Meanwhile, TfL has updated its website to remind customers to only make journeys that are essential, such as for work or education. TfL is also encouraging customers to “walk or cycle where possible”, and to plan ahead to avoid busy times if they do need to use public transport.

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