LONDON is likely to be plunged into tougher tier two lockdown measures within days after a surge in coronavirus cases, the city’s mayor warned.
Sadiq Khan insisted it would apply to all 9million residents in the capital — despite borough-wide variations in infection rates and business fears about the economic impact.
Meanwhile, Essex has asked health secretary Matt Hancock to curb residents’ freedom by moving it from tier one to two. Tier two, categorised as ‘high risk’, bans different households from mixing indoors, including overnight stays or during pub and restaurant trips. Members of two different households can still meet, but only within the ‘rule of six’ and outdoors.
‘We’ve seen in the last six days a 50 per cent increase in positive cases,’ Mr Khan told Sky News, adding that indicators such as hospital admissions ‘are going in the wrong direction’.
He said: ‘It’s inevitable over the course of the next few days London will have passed a trigger point.’
Asked about a blanket rule, he said: ‘Many Londoners work in one borough, live in another borough, study in another borough, go to a restaurant in another borough, so we’re really keen to go as one city.’
But West End restaurateur Richard Corrigan warned the move would make central London ‘the desert it was in September again’. And Guillaume Marly, of London’s Hotel Café Royal, said it would be the ‘nail in the coffin’ for many hospitality firms.
Mr Khan’s warning comes after the Covid-19 death toll for England and Wales rose to 321 in the week to October 2 — the highest level since early July and 49 per cent up on the previous week’s figure of 215.
Office for National Statistics figures showed 106 deaths were in north-west England and 40 in the north-east followed by 31 each in the West Midlands and in London.