Councillors in north-west London have urged everyone to remain vigilant in the face of the Covid-19 virus following the further relaxing of restrictions.

From today (Monday, May 17), groups of six are able to meet inside and indoor hospitality, leisure and cultural venues can reopen.

People can hug each other once more and the travel ban from the UK has been lifted, with people able to visit ‘green list’ international destinations relatively freely.

However, Cllr Muhammed Butt (Lab, Tokyngton), leader of Brent Council, reminded people the coronavirus pandemic “is not yet truly over” and steps should be taken to minimise the spread of the virus.

“The chances are that there will be further surges, even if they don’t occur until later in the year,” he said.

“We cannot allow ourselves to become complacent now – we will risk undoing all the sacrifices and hard work we have all put in so far.”

Cllr Butt said he acknowledged the desire for people to meet up with friends, family, and loved ones once again but stressed it is vital to do so safely and within the guidelines.

He added the efforts around the vaccination programme must continue to give the country the best chance of tackling the virus going forward.

Similar messages were put out in neighbouring Harrow, where the council is encouraging people to get the borough moving again but in an appropriate manner.

Cllr Keith Ferry (Lab, Greenhill), who is responsible for business, property, and leisure at Harrow Council, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the borough and are what make Harrow great.

“It is vital, now more than ever because of the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, to shop local and support our wonderful businesses.

“We as a council have also helped businesses to reopen safely by encouraging them to adhere to public health guidelines and ensure they are Covid secure.

“To ensure infection rates remain low, we urge you to keep testing and remember the essential mantra of ‘Hands, Face, Space’. The message is: Harrow is open, but safety comes first.”