Monday, 26 Oct 2020

Coronavirus: London to move into Tier 2 of lockdown system – millions to be banned from mixing indoors

London will face Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions from Saturday, with the capital’s mayor warning that the virus is “spreading rapidly in every corner of our city”.

It means millions in the capital will be banned from meeting people from other households indoors, whether that’s in their home or in a pub.

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Londoners have also been advised to avoid public transport and reduce the number of journeys they make where possible.

Health minister Helen Whately told London MPs of the decision during a call this morning.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said COVID-19 is “spreading rapidly in every corner of our city”, with a “significant number” of boroughs reporting an average of 100 cases per 100,000 people.

“Nobody wants to see more restrictions, but this is deemed to be necessary in order to protect Londoners by myself, London council leaders and ministers,” he told the London Assembly.

Mr Khan said that “action on a national scale” was still required, given “how far the virus has already been allowed to spread” and the government’s “complete failure to get a working test, trace and isolate system in place”.

He backed Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s call for a “short national circuit breaker” lockdown, which “could save thousands of lives and drive the virus down to manageable levels”.

Mr Khan added: “In London, we experienced the worst of COVID-19 back in the spring. Thousands of lives were lost and our economy has been left reeling.

“We simply can’t afford for the government to be slow to act again.”

On Tuesday, Mr Khan told Sky News that further restrictions were “inevitable” as hospital admissions and infection rates were “going in the wrong direction”.

The London-wide average infection rate was 78 new cases per 100,000 people in the week to 9 October.

However, it varies widely across boroughs. Ealing had the highest rate at 119 new cases, while Bexley had 51.6.

That is still much lower than the infection rate in many parts of northern England, such as the Liverpool area, which is under the most severe Tier Three restrictions.

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