Wednesday, 21 Oct 2020

Coronavirus: London could face fresh restrictions under mayor’s ‘new plan’

New lockdown restrictions should come into force in London, Sadiq Khan has said, following a meeting with officials across the capital.

In a statement, the mayor of London said “we have no choice but to look at other measures to slow the spread” because of problems with the testing system.

Mr Khan said he had met with council leaders from all parties and public health experts to “agree a new London plan” that “includes some new restrictions”.

“We will collectively be asking the government to implement this plan as soon as possible and I will be discussing it with the prime minister tomorrow morning,” he said.

The London mayor also revealed Boris Johnson is expected to announce new national rules tomorrow, and said he will be invited to a COBR meeting to discuss the plans in the morning.

It follows Mr Khan calling for measures to be imposed “early” to stop coronavirus spiralling “out of control” and avoid a second national lockdown.

He met with council leaders and the government on Friday to consider adopting some of the types of measures already imposed in other parts of the UK.

The Labour politician added that COVID-19 was growing at an “accelerating speed” and blamed the “uncertainty” caused by lack of tests for making the situation worse.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed to Sophy Ridge On Sunday more talks were going ahead that day “to discuss further what might be needed”.

He added local lockdowns are “increasingly relied upon” and “necessary” – following major interventions in Leicester, parts of Greater Manchester and northeast England.

Currently at least 13 million people in the UK are living in areas with some form of extra restrictions, with several others on the government’s watchlist.

Boris Johnson has toughened up the rules nationally as cases rise to levels not seen since the start of May, with the legal limit on numbers allowed to gather lowered to six and breaking self-isolation made illegal.

The prime minister warned last Friday: “We’re now seeing a second wave coming in.”

Ministers are believed to be looking at other national restrictions short of a full-on lockdown, including a temporary two or three-week “circuit break” that could see pubs and restaurants ordered to close or face a 10pm curfew.

London has the third-lowest case rate per 100,000 people in England – after the East Midlands and East of England.

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