Council leaders in north-west London have urged residents to stay at home as much as possible following the news England would enter a third national Covid-19 lockdown.

Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, and Brent Council leader Cllr Muhammed Butt reminded people of their responsibilities when it comes to combatting the virus, which is “spreading like wildfire”.

On Monday (January 4), Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the country would enter ‘Tier 5’ restrictions – these measures became law at 12am today (Wednesday, January 6).

This means people should only leave the house for limited reasons, such as for exercise or to get medical supplies, all non-essential shops are closed, and schools have moved to remote learning.

The new variant of Covid-19 is spreading like wildfire across England and we are not immune in Brent,” Cllr Butt said.

“It is really important that we all stay at home. If you do need to leave your home for one of the acceptable reasons – like to get a Covid test or care for a loved one or escape domestic violence – please do the right thing and wash your hands, cover your face with a mask and keep two metres away from anyone you don’t live with.”

It comes after he recounted his own “horrendous” experience of suffering from the virus, including shivers, a constant cough, breathing issues, migraines, and an inability to get out of bed.

Cllr Henson said the move to Tier 5 was “necessary” given the seriousness of the new variant of Covid-19, which spreads more quickly.

“I know it is tiring and will be difficult – it is especially tough on mental health and wellbeing, those who live alone and hard for those managing work with home-schooling children,” he said.

“Please remember that staying at home is the best way to break the chain of infection.”

He added there was “hope” for the future with the increased rollout of vaccines across north-west London and the rest of the country.

Support measures are available to residents in both boroughs – visit or for more information.