With cases rising in London, ministers believe the city may need to be moved into Tier 3 restrictions as soon as possible. Medical experts are also urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to enforce a full national lockdown before and after Christmas, in order to help control the virus – while letting families reunite over the festive period. Sources close to Sadiq Khan expect London to be placed into Tier 3 imminently, while the London Mayor himself has called on the Government to act now before it’s too late.
According to the London Assembly’s latest data, between October 17-23, the city’s case rate per 100,000 stood at 151.
The previous week it had been 111, while there are now over 90,000 cases reported in the capital.
As of October 27, hospitalisations had also increased to 792 from 555, causing the Mayor’s office to demand early action before it’s too late.
A spokesperson for the Mayor said: “We know that when it comes to this virus acting early and decisively is best, both for public health, but also for the economy.
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“The more we delay in implementing measures, the more stringent they need to be and the longer they have to be in place.
“The Mayor is clear that with cases, hospitalisations and deaths rising across the country since August, the Government should have listened to the advice of SAGE and introduced a short circuit breaker.
“The failure to provide a fit for purpose test and trace system or adequate financial support for workers has led to the need for these tougher restrictions.
“Ministers must act before it’s too late and the country is plunged into a deeper health crisis with a longer lockdown needed.
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“This would be worst possible outcome both for public health and our economy.”
The national R-rate, the number of second-hand infections, now stands at between 1.1 to 1.3 according to Government statistics.
However, disputing the Government’s own R-rate, the REACT study conducted by Imperial College London and Ipsos Mori claimed the infection rate could be as high as two in London.
Currently, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire, the Liverpool City region are in Tier 3 restrictions.
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Nottinghamshire, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield will also move into the highest level of restrictions from October 30.
If the rest of the country is placed into Tier 3 restrictions, pubs, bars and hospitality venues will be forced to close.
People would not be able to meet anyone outside of their household or social bubble indoors.
A rule of six would also apply outside although you would not be able to meet anyone from outside your support bubble in most outdoor venues.
One senior official told The Daily Telegraph: “The data is extremely concerning – the virus is on the rise everywhere.
“If we continue on with the ‘R’ rate substantially above one across the whole country, it’s very clear what happens.
“More and more NHS hospitals fill up, more and more and more people are asked to isolate, and the virus continues to spread.
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“And in the end, that’s a very bad place for us to be. Something has to change.”
According to the MailOnline, Government ministers are now discussing whether to put other areas across the country under Tier 3 restrictions on a national scale.
Scientific advisors are now indicating a national lockdown is needed as most areas across England will likely be at least in Tier 3 anyway next month.