London could be on the brink of joining other parts of the country in the most stringent Tier as Covid infection rates have failed to subside. All of London’s boroughs were placed in Tier 2 alongside the majority of England when the new, revised Tier system was implemented on December 2. The worst affected areas in the capital are in East London, including Walthamstow, Redbridge, Newham and Barking, and could see the capital entering Tier 3 sooner than expected.
When are the lockdown rules updated?
It looks increasingly likely that London will be forced into Tier 3 restrictions.
The review of the tier system is due on Wednesday, December 16, as ministers will review the situation across the country and decide whether restrictions can be relaxed or they must be made stricter.
However, in London, some reports suggest a review could come before Wednesday as the situation is so bad.
An announcement for London’s Tier could come on Monday or Tuesday of this week, according to Government sources.
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London mayor Sadiq Khan is calling for schools to shut in London from December 14 as new infection rates push the city to its limits.
A Downing Street official said the Prime Minister, senior ministers and scientific advisers hadn’t yet made any decisions as they were still looking at the data.
But a Government spokesperson added: “The numbers have been bad for a few days. They are going in the wrong direction.”
According to a report published by Public Health England, London recorded 191.8 new cases per 100,000 residents in the week leading up to December 6.
And now, London has the highest rate of positive cases in any region in England.
Professor John Ashton, former director of public health for north-west England, said recently: “[The Government] needs to decide in the next 48 hours the there to move London into Tier 3 otherwise they really risk a terrible situation for London, with deaths going up during the Christmas period.”
Professor Ashton also warned: “They might have to go into complete lockdown.”
There are grave concerns across the city about Londoners facing tougher measures, with Mr Khan warning it will have serious consequences on people’s jobs and lives.
Mr Khan said: “Tier 3 would be catastrophic to our hospitality sector – pubs, bars, restaurants would be seriously affected, and our cultural venues.
“Londoners have made huge sacrifices over the last few weeks and months.
“It is really important, leading up to Christmas where the rules will be relaxed even more, we do all we can to keep ourselves safe, our families safe but also don’t allow the NHS to be overwhelmed in January.”
A spokesman for the Mayor of London also said people living in the capital must adhere to the rules and guidance or risk being placed into a Tier 3 lockdown, which now seems imminent.