London may soon face curfews prohibiting late night drinking and dining to help prevent a second wave, a public heath official has said.
Professor Kevin Fenton, London director of Public Health England, told the Evening Standard : “In some areas which have seen resurgence there have been limits placed on the amount of time you can spend socialising. In some it might be local curfews so you’re not out drinking until the wee hours of the morning.
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“By limiting that you also limit the amount of time people are spending in close contact with others.”
This is in line with what’s been implemented in Bolton, where pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues have been limited to takeaways and having to close between 10pm and 5am.
Over the weekend in London there were scenes of packed crowds in Soho as revellers sought to have a night out before the new ‘rule of six’ was introduced.
Asked about possible action in London, a Number 10 spokesman said: “We will continue to keep the transmission rate under review.
“We’ve introduced the rule of six to try and bear down on the transmission rate given that it has risen recently.
“But as I say we will keep that data and the scientific evidence under review.”
Other measures Professor Fenton cited included promoting mask-wearing, stronger public health warnings and more focus on making workplaces Covid-secure.
The PHE chief stressed that the aim was to avoid lockdowns in London given their economic, health and well-being impact.
Professor Fenton also praised Londoners for their “phenomenal” efforts in crushing the first wave and urges them to “pull together” and “do it again” now.
He spoke about how young people in the capital are in part fuelling the rise in cases, and with about 500,000 university students about to come here from around the country and world we’re likely to see an increase infections.
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He continued: “We will work with our London partners to identify what’s the best approach, and some of that might be intensifying activity at borough and sub-regional levels, and for a few things it may require a pan-London approach, just because of how feasible it is to implement some of those interventions.”
It’s also being reported that ministers are considering a nationwide 10pm curfew in order to avoid a second wave.