London Mayor Sadiq Khan has repeated his calls for non-essential workers, including construction workers, to stay at home and not journey on the city’s crowded tube network.
He said that London’s Tube network was working at capacity with 30% of staff unable to work.
But said that the real solution was more people staying home.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain Mr Khan said: “We have in TFL some brilliant staff working their socks off, but roughly 30% are either self-isolating or have Covid-19 symptoms and are off.
“So we are providing the maximum service we can.
“Just to give you an idea of what we are providing, of the 13 TFL lines all but two are working.
“Of the 270 stations only 38 are closed. We are providing the maximum service we can.
“More than 8000 busses are being provided.
“But frankly speaking, there are still too many people not staying at home.
“And my message to everyone is if you have to work avoid the rush hour, but the key thing is to stay at home.”
Challenged why his advice was different to the government’s which calls for people who need to keep working to continue going into work Mr Khan added: “I’ve been clear, the most important thing is public health. Yes, the economy is important but we are facing a public health emergency.
“The number I mention of 800 deaths these aren’t just figures, these are people who lost their lives.
“I make this point, and I don’t mean to be churlish, but people can earn back the money they’ve lost and the government can give them some assistance now.
“But I challenge the government to speak to Ismail’s parents or Luca’ family or one of those workers risking their lives to work on the frontline.
“Are we really saying a non-essential construction worker’s job is worth more than Ismail’s life?
Asked about crowding on the tube – Mr Khan said police and TFL staff were on the network trying to distance people.
Dealing with footage from ITV about North Acton station Mr Khan said: “It is on the Central Line, because of staff absences, the train coming in West Ruislip allows for an interchange, there are lots of people waiting for a connection. It is not acceptable but we have had some driver come back to work and are running more trains.
“But I am saying this stresses the importance of staying home where you can.”