The leader of Harrow Council praised community efforts during the wider reopening of businesses at the weekend – but urged people not to be “complacent” in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.

Cllr Graham Henson welcomed the move to reopen pubs, restaurants, cafés, and hairdressers – part of what he described as “the lifeblood of our high streets” – on Saturday (July 4).

He said the operation in Harrow had “gone well” and that businesses and customers had, in the main, acted responsibly.

He explained that there was one incident over the weekend that required a council response, but this was dealt with quickly.

“We have not had any of the complaints that we have seen in other parts of London or the rest of the UK,” he told an overview and scrutiny committee last night (July 7).

“Things might have been easier if it [had started] on a Monday, but it was well manged and controlled.”

Cllr Henson said it was now important to remain vigilant in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

“With things easing, it’s not an excuse to be complacent – Covid hasn’t disappeared,” he said.

“Everyone should continue to do their bit to limit the spread of the virus, by washing their hands, wearing face coverings and social distancing.”

He added the council would continue to monitor businesses that have been allowed to reopen to ensure they are complying with safety guidance.

And he said any businesses flouting rules – whether opening illegally or ignoring additional protocols – should be reported to the council.