After a number of meetings involving London health chiefs and politicians, the capital looks set to be placed in a higher coronavirus tier as soon as the weekend.
Many were surprised that when the three tier system of coronavirus restrictions were announced, London was only in the ‘Medium’ Tier 1.
With the number of new cases jumping every day and 8,484 confirmed in the last seven days, the capital appears to need more than a 10pm curfew and rule of six to control the spread of the virus.
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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has been pushing for tougher restrictions, and on Wednesday, October 14 he briefed the capital’s health chiefs about a move to Tier 2 after a meeting of the Joint Biosecurity Centre.
This move would see households unable to mix indoors and Londoners asked not to use public transport unless completely necessary.
On Tuesday, October 13 the Mayor told LBC that the capital will move into the high category as soon as it hits 100 cases per 100,000 over seven days – which according to PHE data it has done, now at 104.
On Thursday, October 15 Health Minister Helen Whateley is going to hold a call with London MPs at 9.30am, during which it is possible a decision regarding restrictions in the city could be made.
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Health Secretary Matt Hancock is also going to address the Commons later on Thursday.
Over the last couple of days there has been talk of a short-term ‘circuit breaker’ national lockdown that aims to halt the spread of the virus dramatically.
It reportedly would see the whole of England back into a full lockdown for two or three weeks, with shops and restaurants shut again, no household mixing and older people told to stay at home.
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The Telegraph reports there is also an option for a local circuit break – which would effectively be a ‘Tier 3.5’ or a ‘Tier 4’ under the current system.
It’s thought that these local circuit breakers could be implemented in big cities where cases can spread quickly.