Tuesday, 20 October, 2020

London shifts into 2nd-highest virus risk tier as cases rise

London will go back into coronavirus lockdown from midnight Friday, with household mixing banned London set for tougher restrictions - including no household visits - as uncertainty hangs over Manchester
Ginger Lawrence | 18 October, 2020, 04:02

"But this is deemed to be necessary in order to protect Londoners' lives by myself, London council leaders and by ministers".

Britain's health secretary has shifted London into the second-highest COVID-19 alert level amid a rise in cases.

United Kingdom health minister Helen Whateley announced the news to London members of Parliament in a call on Thursday morning, with Prime Minister Johnson expected to confirm it in a statement later in the day.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan told City Hall the expected move to Tier 2 is based on "expert public health and scientific advice about what is necessary to save lives in the capital" but stressed that he was pushing for extra support from the Government. "We all need to play our part in getting the virus under control once again".

"In London, we experienced the worst of COVID-19 back in the spring. We simply can't afford for the government to be slow to act again", he said.

Ministers are now being briefed over the new measures in a call with Health Minister Helen Whately.

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Next, he explained that all beverage rooms, entertainment facilities, casinos, and bingo halls will be closed. The province recorded a record 173 new cases yesterday including 133 in Winnipeg .

The new measures not only put a ban on households mixing together at home but also in pubs and restaurants indoors and will come into effect from midnight on Friday.

Under new rules set out by Boris Johnson on Monday those in any of the city's boroughs, including Bromley and Bexley , can not meet in their homes or venues like pubs and restaurants unless they are part of the same "support bubble". He later said that the coronavirus was spreading rapidly "in every corner" of the city. There is also guidance against travelling in and out of the area.

The "very high" alert level bans socialising, forces pubs and bars to close and prohibits travel outside the area under the restriction.

"In addition to the restrictions already in place, this would mean different households in London not being allowed to mix indoors", he said.

For the third and highest tier, further restrictions may be agreed for particular regions, such as closure of gyms, leisure centres, betting shops and casinos.