New restrictions on the capital seem likely by the end of the week as coronavirus cases continue to rise.
As more than 7,700 cases in London are being recorded a week the city is expected to be put into tier two under the Government’s new three-tier system that could see a ban on households mixing and limiting travel to only essential trips.
Boris Johnson is expected to introduce the three-tier lockdown today which will categorise the country between the worst affected areas of the country (tier three), the least affected areas of the country (tier one) and areas at medium-risk.
Northern cities where cases are surging are expected to be placed under tier-three rules which could see bars, pubs and gyms forced to close this week. How it works is being considered as crucial in deciding how to handle the pandemic in the capital.
Sadiq Khan today said: ‘It is highly likely that Londoners will also face more restrictions very soon.
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‘The fundamental problem – faced by Londoners as much as people elsewhere in the UK – is the failure of the Government to provide the resources that are needed when new restrictions come into force.
‘As a country it is vital we properly support businesses, workers and local authorities to ensure the rules are followed and enforced, but also to avert widespread hardship.
‘I fully support the calls from northern leaders for a more thorough process of consultation and engagement between central and local government on decision making relating to the virus,
‘Our national response would be so much stronger if the Government didn’t treat local leaders as adversaries or with suspicion, but as essential partners in tackling this pandemic.’
Sadiq Khan and Boris Johnson discussed the city’s ‘unique needs and challenges’ on September 22 after which a spokesperson for the mayor said: ‘Sadiq and the PM agreed to speak more regularly.’
Mr Khan has often said he is of the ‘firm view’ that more action should be taken to curb the spread of the virus in London and has previously said it is ‘increasingly likely’ that new restrictions will be imposed.
Ministers, City Hall and health chiefs are reportedly spending the week analysing data and deciding what restrictions would work best.
But many, including the Mayor, believe rules should be placed on the whole of London as one city despite the differing infection rates between each borough.
The decision will probably be based on how many boroughs have about 100 new cases per 100,000 population per week. At the moment five boroughs have over 100 cases per 100,000 population in the week ending on October 8.
Some councils that have taken fighting the pandemic into their own hands and implemented their own advice.
Barking and Dagenham closed several locations that breached the national restrictions, told supermarkets to enforce mask-wearing and have four vans making public announcements about social distancing.
Tower Hamlets also jumped the gun on London-wide restrictions and urged its residents to avoid mixing households ‘unless absolutely necessary’
However, overall the number of cases in London rose 56 per cent to 7,787 in the week to October 8, according to official figures, up from 4,996 in the previous seven days.
In the week between September, 27 and October, 3 6,330 cases were recorded in London which is 2,507 more cases than the week before, according to Public Health England.
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