Images posted online of crowded London Underground trains have prompted Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to call for an end to all but essential commuter travel.
Less than 24 hours after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a lockdown to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, pictures of packed underground carriages from the morning commute sparked concern.
Last week, 40 Tube stations were closed in an attempt to reduce the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, but while there has been a drop in passenger numbers, the reduced service has seen packed trains.
Nurse Julia Harris, who commutes to work at Imperial College NHS Trust, said she had left earlier and changed her route to avoid crowds, but still found the District Line to be busy this morning.
This is my tube this morning. I live in zone 4 and work in a zone 1 hospital. I love my job, but now I'm risking my health just on the journey in?!@SadiqKhan put the tube service back to normal so we can all spread out, or @BorisJohnson start policing who's getting on. Help me! pic.twitter.com/x5moYM8wWN— Nicola Smith (@nsmith694) March 24, 2020
She told the PA news agency: "Seats on the train all had at least one person so people needed to stand and the District Line was busy as well.
"I still don't think things are improved as a large amount of people are commuting early in the morning.
"It is concerning because I have to come to work. The choice isn't there and my commute is quite long.
"I worry for my health more on my commute than actually being in the hospital."
Ms Harris said the reduction in Transport for London services meant "you now have more people waiting and piling onto the tubes and trains".
"The issue is key workers aren't just health professionals - I think we under-estimated how many people are needed to keep things running".
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted: "I cannot say this more strongly: we must stop all non-essential use
of public transport now.
"Employers: please support your staff to work from home unless it's absolutely necessary. Ignoring these rules means more lives lost."
LONDON: I cannot say this more strongly: we must stop all non-essential use of public transport now.— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) March 24, 2020
Employers: please support your staff to work from home unless it's absolutely necessary.
Ignoring these rules means more lives lost. #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/XeGEuCoWyV