London

Coronavirus: Columbia Road flower market shuts

Columbia Street flower market
Image caption Despite the social distancing advice many people have still gone outside

London's famous Columbia Road flower market is to shut as the capital continues to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Over the weekend, crowds gathered at various London markets and parks despite government advice.

Tower Hamlets council has closed markets on Columbia Road, Brick Lane, Petticoate Lane and Roman Road.

The move comes as the number of coronavirus cases in London rose to more than 2,000.

The council said it had spoken with organisers and operators of markets in the east London borough about the decision to close them until further notice.

Markets in Bethnal Green, Chrisp Street, Roman Road Square and Whitechapel will be limited to the sales of non-prepared food and household items only.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan urged people to stay at home and said public transport should only be used by key workers.

'Lives at risk'

His comments come after images showed passengers crowding on to Tube trains, despite repeated government warnings.

Mr Khan said he and his team were all working from home and he made a "direct appeal to employers across the capital" to work from home where possible.

He said: "The government is making a wide range of support available to employers to support you through these difficult times.

"If you don't take these steps you're putting lives at risk."

Hammersmith and Fulham council will close parks from Sunday night while the Royal Parks is closing kiosks and cafes.

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