London Attack: ETOA Emphasizes City Remains Safe

Police secure the area on the south side of Westminster Bridge close to the Houses of Parliament in London.
Photo by AP Photo/Matt Dunham via Newscred

In the wake of yesterday’s terrorist attack outside Westminster Palace in London, the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) has issued a statement emphasizing that most of London’s tourist attractions have not been disrupted.

“It is obviously a matter of deep concern that people appear to have died, and several more injured,” the ETOA said in a written release. “Some of these were visitors.”

According to the ETOA, the attack caused severe delays around the Parliament Square area, and prompted the suspension of boat services under Westminster Bridge and the closure of the Banqueting House and London Eye.

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According to Metro UK, all approaches to Parliament Square are still closed as of this morning. Westminster Bridge, where part of the attack took place, remains closed in both directions, and river services remain disrupted, with boats barred from sailing west of Blackfriars near Westminster.

The London Eye has reopened, according to its official Twitter account. Guests who had tickets booked for March 22 can request a refund here, which will be processed within five to seven days. Guests with March 22 bookings can rebook here for a date in the next six months free of charge. Guests with existing bookings from March 23 onward who wish to rebook can fill in the contact form here to rebook within six months.

In its statement the ETOA also reassured travelers that the UK remains a safe destination. “This incident has to be viewed in context,” the ETOA said. “Anywhere there are cars, fatalities occur. In terms of traffic safety, Britain happens to be a world leader. The international nature of this incident makes it newsworthy. It does not make the UK any less safe. It will still be one of the safest countries in the world to be a pedestrian. It will still be one of the safest countries on Earth to visit. London remains open.”

The Latest on the Attack

In yesterday’s attack a terrorist drove a 4x4 into a crowd of people walking on Westminster Bridge before crashing into the gates of the House of Commons, NBC News reports. He then fatally stabbed a police officer before being shot by police.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed three people and injured 40 more, CNN reports. Police in London have arrested eight people in raids around the country as part of their investigation.

The attacker had been previously investigated by UK authorities over concerns about violent extremism, The Los Angeles Times reports.

“He was a peripheral figure,” British Prime Minister Theresa May told members of Parliament, as reported in the Times. “The case is historic. He was not part of the current intelligence picture. There was no prior intelligence of his intent, or of the plot.”

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