Staff at a council recycling centre that was forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic were allegedly subject to threats of being coughed or spat on by users.

Harrow Council slammed those who still tried to use the recycling centre, in Forward Drive, Harrow, despite an announcement that it would be shut until further notice.

It reported that some disgruntled visitors threatened to cough or spit at members of staff when they were turned away.

A tweet from the council’s account read: “Abuse towards our staff will not be tolerated.

“Threats of being ‘coughed or spat on’ are vile and unacceptable. Our tip is closed to government advice and they made clear to stay home unless essential.

“If you’re ignoring this, you’re being selfish and putting others at risk. Stop it.”

On Wednesday (March 25), a man from Dagenham admitted to coughing at police officers and claiming he had covid-19.

He was charged with assault, which prosecutor Ciro D’Alessio explained covered “someone threatening to give someone a communicable disease or you have someone trying to give it to them”.

Earlier this week, the Government announced a series of measures aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus.

These include only leaving the house for medical needs, to buy essential food items, for exercise once a day or if it is necessary for you to get to work.

Harrow Council confirmed that use of the recycling centre does not fall under these categories and closed it on Tuesday (March 24).

It stressed that residents should only leave home if it is “essential” and in line with government advice.