From Gareth Thomas MP <[email protected]>
Subject Updated - Tier 2 - COVID-19 Update
Date December 2, 2020 10:49 AM
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Breaking: Emergency use of BioNTech/Pfizer jab authorised; UK set for
Covid-19 vaccinations next
week ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

[Covid Update from GT]

Dear John,

This is an update to my earlier e-mail following some positive
breaking news:

The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the
Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for widespread use. This is a huge
credit to all those involved, from the brilliant scientists to the
trial volunteers and everyone else involved in the development. The
vaccine has been shown to be 95 per cent effective in preventing the
disease, according to data released last month
[[link removed]] from
the companies’ phase-3 trial, which involved more than 43,000
people. British regulator, the MHRA, says the jab, which will require
two shots one month apart, is safe for rollout from next week. Under
provisional plans released last week (shown below), the jab will most
likely be made to care home residents and staff first, before being
administered to those aged over 80 and to frontline health workers.

Harrow Council has expressed it hopes to have everything in place for
the next stage of tackling the virus as soon as possible. This will
include “small quantities” of a vaccine, which will initially be
offered to groups most at risk such as frontline medical staff, and
those living and working in care homes. Over three vaccination sites
have been suggested in Harrow and these are set to be confirmed this

[Vaccine priority groups]

The second nationwide lockdown comes to an end today with the country
returning to a regional tier system. Harrow, as well as the rest of
London now re-enters Tier 2. Broadly speaking, the new rules mean
that you must not socialise indoors with anyone who does not live
with you, or who is not in your support bubble. The 'rule of six'
(where you must not socialise with more than six people) once again
applies outdoors, including inside private gardens. The tier
allocations will be regularly reviewed based on the latest data, with
the first review to take place on 16 December. It’s certainly true
that while we are in Tier 2, it would be a tragedy for this to change
due to complacency. So, while there are many that will want to enjoy
the five-day break from restrictions over Christmas, we must work
together to keep the infection rate as low as possible. Let's work
hard to stay in Tier 2 and play our part in keeping London out of the
wider restrictions of Tier 3.

Over the past week, Harrow has seen a rise in 350 cases. The below
table shows Harrow’s current ranking among London boroughs. The
current case rate locally stands at 135 cases per population of
100,000 – 

[Cases by London boroughs]

As a community, we are immensely grateful to all of our NHS staff,
social care workers and all of our key workers that continue to keep
us safe and keep our local services going. I hope readers continue to
stay safe, socially distance and regularly check in on loved
ones.  Again, people are being urged to remain vigilant for any
symptoms of Covid-19. These are a high temperature, continuous cough
or a change in sense of taste or smell. Developing just one of these
requires immediate action – self-isolate and book a test at or by calling 119. We can all help stop the spread
of coronavirus by washing our hands, covering our face and making
space when around people we don’t live with. The response to
Coronavirus is being directed by Government centrally working with
Public Health England, the Government’s advice is available here
[[link removed]]. Government
assistance specifically for businesses is available here
[[link removed]] .  

As always, if you need to get in touch about the issues covered here
– or anything else – please contact my office on 0207 219
4243 or e-mail me at [email protected]. Please bear
with us, as we have received over 5 times our usual weekly amount of
correspondence. My team and I are working hard to respond as promptly
as possible. Although we have had to cancel face to face surgery
appointments, we are now scheduling regular Zoom surgeries and phone
calls with Harrow West constituents. 

[Tier 2]


[Keep Harrow Safe]

The council has a webpage covering their own response to the
coronavirus pandemic, this is regularly being updated and is
available here.  
[[link removed]]


Harrow Council has now been given support to work with the national
contact tracing service to stem the spread of Covid-19. I’m glad to
see our council is now being equipped to enhance contract tracing
efforts, this is long overdue. As many will know, alongside many of my
colleagues in the Labour Party, I have been pushing to put contact
tracing into the hands of councils and local public health teams
[[link removed]] who
know their own communities better than Serco and Sitel (private
companies involved in the contact tracing system). 

Anyone that has come into close contact with an infected person must
be quickly identified and told to self-isolate. For a long time, Serco
has not been delivering effective contact tracing
[[link removed]] and so, it is good to see, in Harrow,
where this is not straightforward, cases are now finally being
referred to the council’s contact tracing team.    


“Government has asked local authorities to help fill in the huge
gaps that the national test and trace system is leaving behind. It’s
a system that’s proved efficient at dealing with the easy cases, but
lacks the kind of tenacity needed to engage with people that are
reticent to cooperate.

“_The caseload is challenging, but our local knowledge, community
engagement and presence on the ground is already contributing to the
system's overall success._

_“Alongside this work, we’re offering help to local people
required to self-isolate, as we did during the first wave. So far this
year we've reached out by phone and email more than 40,000 times._

_“We've been coordinating exceptionally well with Harrow's voluntary
network, whose links into the local community will continue to be

_“We’re committed to continue working together on an emergency
footing for as long as is needed, providing food parcels and other
support to those most profoundly affected by the crisis._”

[[link removed]] OR
CALL 119


·       SOUTH HARROW walk-through testing centre at Brigade
Close Car Park, HA2 0LQ (opposite South Harrow Police Station) - open
daily 8am to 8pm. No parking available at this site.

·       Mobile Testing Unit, HARROW CIVIC CENTRE - Car Park
‘A’, Milton Road, 10:30 – 15:30

·       Mobile testing site (cars only) on selected days,
10.30am to 3.30pm at NORTHWICK PARK HOSPITAL (Rear car park).



Harrow Council, Harrow CCG, and Young Harrow Foundation have put
together a joint document
[[link removed]] signposting
residents to a collection of some of the most helpful and trusted
sources of information and guidance for children and young people’s

For young people (high school and college age), the
document ‘looking after ourselves’ can be found here
[[link removed]] – covering
how to stay healthy, stay connected and learn new skills during this


Harrow Council have collected a range of online resources
[[link removed]]
 for all members of the family to keep entertained while libraries
are closed. You will be able to find resource to help with homework,
eBooks, newspapers and magazines and keeping yourself healthy and

Counselling services and mental health support

·       Relate Family Mediation 
[[link removed]] - a
service fully geared up to supporting families through the crisis.
Tel: 0300 0032324 or email [email protected].

·       DAWN [[link removed]]  - provide
a counselling service to the local community of Harrow and its
neighbouring boroughs. Tel: 020 8427 6796 or
email: [email protected]

·       Need To Talk [[link removed]]  - offering
1 to 1 counselling supporting their clients or any client by telephone
or webcam. Tel: call/ text on 07427548559 or
email [email protected]

·       Ignite Trust 
[[link removed]]  - During these challenging
and uncertain times, Ignite Trust is working hard to ensure they
continue to provide support to the boroughs most vulnerable and
at-risk young people. Email [email protected].

·        [[link removed]] Every
Mind Matters [[link removed]] - Expert
advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health
and wellbeing.


The council continues to operate a hotline telephone number during
weekends in order to provide support to those in need of assistance in
Harrow - if you are in need of support due to Covid please give the
hotline a call - 0208 901 2698




The Arts Centre is reopening as a Covid-secure venue tomorrow and is
preparing for the opening of an immersive Christmas experience in a
few week’s time from - SAT 19TH – THU 24TH DECEMBER.

This immersive Christmas experience will take place across the
historic Harrow Art Centre site and features a cast of professional
performers, popular musical theatre, Christmas songs and electrifying

The Night Before Christmas is a COVID-secure production, following
safe government guidelines. The Arts Centre offers a full money back
guarantee if the show or any individual performances have to be
cancelled due to Covid-19.

[[link removed]]


Reopening for teas and coffees tomorrow and the full museum in a
week’s time – see Headstone Manor’s December calendar below:

[Headstone Manor December]


[Intrepid Hill Players]

The intrepid Hill Players of Harrow will not be stopped by a pandemic,
and if they can’t host their usual Panto in the Ryan, they’ll do a
virtual one… (oh yes, they will)!!

The Players have four free shows as a live stream on the 19th &
20th December. You’re welcome to come along and cheer and jeer
from home. Please share among families, family organisations, care
groups, etc, who might need some cheering up… 

[link removed] [[link removed]]



The Fresh Horizons CND charity based in Wembley has supported
accommodation available for the single homeless in Harrow during the
ongoing coronavirus restrictions. If you or someone you know is in
need of supported accommodation, Fresh Horizons can be contacted by
telephone at 0300 321 4702 or via email at [email protected]




The Labour Party, 105 Victoria St Westminster, London, SW1E 6QT, United Kingdom
[link removed]
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