London to go into tier 2 COVID-19 lockdown with millions banned from mixing indoors


Millions of people will be banned from mixing indoors, with London due to be placed under tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions from this weekend.

London will move from tier 1 to tier 2, or from « medium » to « high » alert, from 12:01am on Saturday under the new tiered system announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this week.

Tier 2 means different households will be banned from mixing indoors, including inside homes, pubs and restaurants, and Londoners will also be told to avoid public transport and making non-essential travel.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the tighter restrictions were needed in London as coronavirus infections were doubling every 10 days.

« To Londoners, and to all who work in our great capital, I want to say thank you for what you’ve done to supress the virus once.

« We now all need to play our part in getting the virus under control once again. »

Neighbouring county Essex will also be placed under tier 2 restrictions, as will Elmbridge in Surrey and several areas in England’s midlands and north.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who foreshadowed a tightening of restrictions in London earlier this week, said there was « simply no other option » as coronavirus infections were spreading « rapidly » in the capital.

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

The new restrictions bring London into line with other parts of England already on tier 2 restrictions, while COVID-19 hotspots Manchester and Lancashire may be moved from tier 2 to the highest possible tier 3, or « very high » alert, which nearby city Liverpool is already under.

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

This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced.

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)


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