Commenting on an interview in the Evening Standard today (Wednesday 16 September) with Public Health England director Professor Kevin Fenton, Unite secretary for the London and Eastern region, Pete Kavanagh, said: 

“Key to avoiding more draconian measures in the capital, such as curfews, is ensuring that the current rules on social distancing and mask wearing are adhered to properly. Professor Fenton was right to say that everyone has their part to play in this and Londoners have already gone to extraordinary lengths to quell the virus’ spread. 

“However, not everyone will obey the rules, and for the safety of the public and for workers who have frontline roles, there needs to be a far greater emphasis on enforcing key measures. This is especially true for transport, hospitality and shop workers who cannot be expected to enforce the rules.

“As we head into winter and the risk of a second wave increases, the government must ensure that the so-called Covid ‘marshals’ have the resources behind them to do their jobs properly. In workplaces, we need more inspections and fines on employers who are not safeguarding their employees, coupled with firms and the authorities working with trade union health and safety reps to keep outbreaks at bay.

“We must ensure that everything possible is done to keep the virus under control before implementing curfews and other severe infection control measures that will further hurt people’s living standards and the economy.” 


During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.