The capital will move into the second tier of lockdown as of this weekend meaning millions will not be able to mix households, and public transport should be avoided, as infection rates are 'doubling every 10 days'
London is to move into the second level of Lockdown from Saturday 17 October, after health minister, Helen Whately told MPs of this decision on a call this morning.
The second tier of lockdown is triggered when a rise in transmission cannot be contained through local responses (cases above 100 per 100,000).
The London infection on average was at 78 new cases per 100,000 people in the week of 9 October. With some boroughs recording higher rates of infection, such as Ealing as 119 new cases.
Local Covid alert level 2: high
This means on top of restrictions in alert level medium, the public should follow social distancing rules, work from home where they can effectively do so, and avoid public transport by making fewer journeys wherever possible.
People must not socialise with anybody outside of their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place, such as the pub.
businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a Covid-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law.
'The seven-day average case rate stands today at 97 rising sharply.'
Matt Hancock, health minister
Addressing the House of Commons, health minister, Matt Hancock said: ‘In London, infection rates are on a steep upward path with the number of cases doubling every 10 days.
‘The seven-day average case rate stands today at 97 rising sharply.
‘We know form the first peak that the virus can spread fast and put huge pressures on the NHS so we must act now to prevent the need for tougher measures later on.
‘We’ve agreed that London needs to move to local Covid alert level high.’
The duration of each tier lockdown varies upon the alert level in the region, for tier 2 the restrictions will be under constant review. This means rules could be subject to change at any time, moving up to tier 3 or down to tier one.
Hancock added: ‘To Londoners and to all those who work in our great capital, I thank you for what you’ve done to suppress the virus once.
‘We now all need to play our part in getting the virus under control once again.’
'As things stand, we're heading from lockdown to national breakdown.'
Mark Williams, CEO, Pensar
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said this move into alert level high will include all 33 councils across London to prevent any confusion among Londoners who may work in one area and live in the next.
Mark Williams, CEO of the London-based IT company, Pensar, said: ‘London entering Tier 2 will further kybosh the recovery of the economy, just as many businesses were starting to find their stride.
‘Add the capital to the even stricter lockdowns that look set to be introduced in the north and it's clear the UK economy is now entering a whole new level of crisis mode.
‘As things stand, we're heading from lockdown to national breakdown.
‘Once again, businesses in the hospitality sector will be crucified by this latest announcement.
‘The government has completely lost the plot so it's little wonder the general public and the business community have no faith left in its ability to handle the crisis effectively.
‘If there's one positive in all this, it's that many businesses are now very well set up for effective homeworking, but for those that are dependent on footfall, it's another devastating blow.’
The health minister has said that Essex, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, North East Derbyshire, Erewash, Chesterfield and York will also move into tier 2 of coronavirus restrictions from 12.01am on Saturday.