New lockdown measures for London ‘increasingly likely’, says Sadiq Khan

It is “increasingly likely” that lockdown restrictions will soon be needed to slow the spread of coronavirus in London, the capital’s mayor has warned.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said he was of the “firm view” that action should be taken before the virus spirals out of control, and leaders were considering measures already imposed in other parts of the UK.

In a statement, he said he had held an emergency meeting with London’s council leaders, the government and Public Heath England (PHE) to discuss the next steps.

Khan added: “The prime minister has said that we are now seeing the start of a second wave of Covid-19 across the UK.

“Londoners should also know that I am extremely concerned by the latest evidence I’ve seen today from public health experts about the accelerating speed at which Covid-19 is now spreading here in London.

“It is increasingly likely that, in London, additional measures will soon be required to slow the spread of the virus.

“We will be considering some of the measures which have already been imposed in other parts of the UK.

“I am of the firm view that we should not wait, as happened six months ago, for this virus to again spiral out of control before taking action.

“The best thing for both public health and the economy is new restrictions imposed early, rather than a full lockdown when it’s too late – but the government must urgently ensure there is a fully functioning testing system.”

Khan’s comments come after Boris Johnson said the UK is “now seeing a second wave coming in”, and that it was inevitable that coronavirus would hit the country again.

The number of cases per 100,000 people over seven days is reported to have increased in London from 18.8 to around 25.

Around 13.5 million people in the UK will be living under extra restrictions from Tuesday as regional curbs are imposed on Lancashire, Merseyside, and parts of West Yorkshire, the West Midlands and Cheshire.

Local restrictions are already in place in parts of Scotland, south Wales, the north-west and north-east of England, Yorkshire and the Midlands.