London will be placed into tier two lockdown from midnight on Friday night.
Boris Johnson is expected to confirm the move in a statement this morning.
It would mean no household mixing indoors in any setting and a message for people to avoid using public transport.
Care Minister Helen Whately told London MPs about the move from ‘medium’ to ‘high’ risk today.
Essex is also expected to move to ‘high’ alert restrictions this weekend.
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It was earlier revealed that a number of boroughs in the capital had tipped the threshold of 100 cases per 100,000 people for the first time.
Richmond upon Thames has 140, Hackney and City of London have 133 and Ealing has 133 in the week to October 8, at the higher end of the scale.
Areas in the south, including Croydon (70), Bromley (67) and Sutton (64) have the lowest numbers of infections.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said he would back tighter restrictions in the capital but called for a package of financial support for the city.
Speaking at City Hall, the mayor said he expects the government will announce the stricter lockdown restrictions later today.
In a letter to the Prime Minister on Wednesday, he said that with the infection rate approaching approaching 100 cases per 100,000 head of population, new measures would be needed ‘very soon’.
Mr Khan wrote alongside pictures of the letter on Twitter: ‘Urgent action is needed to protect Londoners and bring the virus under control in our city…
‘Government must provide proper financial help to all businesses and vulnerable Londoners affected by restrictions, as well as local authorities who support them.
‘It is essential that no one should be faced with added financial hardship through redundancy or a loss of earnings, and is able to access benefits or crisis support straight away should they need to.
‘We also need an immediate increase in testing capacity so that London’s testing rates can increase to the national average.’
What does tier two lockdown mean?
There are three tiers in Boris Johnson’s new system:
- Tier one – Medium risk
- Tier two – High risk
- Tier three – Very High risk
Under these new standardised lockdown rules, anyone living in an area now under tier two of the lockdown system will be prohibited from mixing with other households indoors.
You are still allowed to mix outside as long as the national ‘rule of six’ is observed.
London is still well behind a number of areas in the North, where increased case numbers are beginning to translate into hospitalisations.
A councillor warned yesterday that Liverpool’s intensive care wards are running at 95% capacity and could exceed that point by next week.
London is thought to be around four weeks behind the North West.
London’s new restrictions come as Greater Manchester and Lancashire face being plunged into tier three lockdown.
Advisers on the Joint Biosecurity Centre’s ‘Gold command’ taskforce signed off on proposals to put Greater Manchester and Lancashire into the ‘very high’ risk level on Wednesday.
Ms Whately is meeting with northern MPs after speaking with the London leaders where she is expected to confirm the move.
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