London and Essex lockdown: move into Tier 2 restrictions

Millions of Londoners will face tougher Tier 2 Covid measures from Saturday, with a ban on households mixing indoors.

London to face tighter Covid restrictions from Friday night

London will be placed in high-risk, tier 2 coronavirus restrictions from Friday night as infection rates in the capital continue to increase, MPs and the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, have confirmed.

The decision came as Boris Johnson was expected to sign off on the harshest tier 3 coronavirus measures for millions more people in the north of England later on Thursday, with Downing Street putting last minute pressure on local leaders in Greater Manchester to accept the changes.

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, will make the formal announcement on the new restrictions in a statement to the House of Commons later on Thursday.

The health minister Helen Whately informed London MPs in a conference call on Thursday morning that London would move to tier 2 restrictions, meaning people must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place. People should also aim to avoid public transport.

Schools, universities and places of worship can remain open and all businesses can continue to operate with Covid-secure measures, though the measure is likely to significantly affect more than 3,000 pubs and 7,000 restaurants across London.

More detail:

Manchester lockdown: Fears millions will be under Tier 3 rules ALL winter

Sky News host Kay Burley repeatedly clashed with Nadhim Zahawi on TV this morning. Ms Burley took issue when the Business Minister boasted that the Government was doing more than its French counterparts in paying workers’ wages. The Sky News host grilled the Tory minister on claims that Greater Manchester will be placed under the harshest Tier 3 coronavirus measures when the row erupted.

Ms Burley said: “Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham fears parts of the north won’t emerge from Tier 3 measures until long into the winter.

“There are 20,000 employed in pubs, 20,000 taxi drivers, 63,000 in accommodation and food services, 32,000 jobs in arts and entertainment.

“That is why Burnham doesn’t want to go into Tier 3. You’re saying, tough, we will do it anyway.”

Mr Zahawi responded: “No we are not. What we are saying is we have got a package of £200billion, in effect putting our arms around the economy and jobs.”

More detail:

London and Essex to move into Tier 2 restrictions

And Essex is also expected to move to high alert restrictions this weekend.

Under Tier 2, households are also barred from mixing in pubs and restaurants and people should aim to reduce use of public transport.

It comes as Greater Manchester is set to move into the highest level of Covid restrictions, the BBC understands.

Speaking at London’s City Hall, Labour mayor Sadiq Khan said there was “simply no other option”.

“Nobody wants to see more restrictions but this is deemed to be necessary in order to protect Londoners,” he said.

Mr Khan said he is continuing to press the government for more financial support, adding that “we’ve got a difficult winter ahead”.

The London mayor also backed calls by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for a temporary national “circuit-breaker” to stem the spread of the disease.

More detail:

London Tier 2 rules to come into force from midnight on Friday as capital faces tough new lockdown measures

Tighter Tier 2 restrictions are to be imposed in London from midnight tomorrow to stop the Covid-19 epidemic worsening, Matt Hancock announced today.

Unveiling the new clampdown, the Health Secretary praised Londoners for their efforts in the spring to combat the first wave of the virus which claimed thousands of lives.

He said today: “We now all need to play our part in getting it under control again.”

The measures come into force from 00.01 on Saturday and will mean:

  • A ban on mixing between households indoors, including in pubs and restaurants.
  • The rule of six will continue to apply outdoors as will the 10pm curfew for the hospitality sector.
  • People can continue to travel to work or to access education using public transport, but they should look to reduce the number of journeys they  make “where possible”.

The city-wide restrictions, which are backed by Mayor Sadiq Khan, were announced after 11 boroughs saw more than 100 new cases in a week per 100,000 people, according to official figures.

In a sombre statement at City Hall, Mr Khan said: “I must warn Londoners that we’ve got a difficult winter ahead but just as we’ve always done throughout out city’s great history I know that we will get through this dark time by pulling together.”

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