London could be locked down within days, the Health Secretary has admitted amid a rise in coronavirus cases in the capital.
Matt Hancock said he had spoken with London mayor Sadiq Khan over the weekend about what action is needed in the capital and would not rule out new restrictions on the capital.
Mr Khan will meet council leaders on Monday to discuss measures for the city and could recommend tougher new restrictions as early as tomorrow. Earlier today it emerged that the Mayor is reportedly pushing for a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants and a ban on households mixing.
Meanwhile, asked if London office employees could be advised to work from home from some point next week, Mr Hancock told Times Radio: ‘Well, I wouldn’t rule it out.’
Such moves would be in stark contrast to recent Government messaging, which urged people to ‘eat out to help out’ and return to their offices following the easing of lockdown.
Mr Khan said it is ‘increasingly likely’ that local lockdown restrictions will soon be needed to slow the spread of coronavirus – and warned that it is better to act ‘too early’ than ‘too late’.
The number of cases per 100,000 people over seven days is reported to have increased in London from 18.8 to around 25 earlier in the week.
Mayoral sources said the city was catching up with disease hotspots in the north-west and north-east of England, which have been placed under new measures.
A spokesperson for Mr Khan said: ‘The situation is clearly worsening. Sadiq will meet council leaders tomorrow and any London-specific measures will be recommended to ministers following that.
‘The mayor wants fast action as we cannot risk a delay, as happened in March.
‘It is better for both health and business to move too early than too late.’
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