Sadiq Khan fears London move to damaging Covid Tier 3 ‘highly likely’ in coming weeks

Sadiq Khan fears London move to damaging Covid Tier 3 ‘highly likely’ in coming weeks

Sadiq Khan believes a Tier 3 London lockdown is “highly likely” in the coming weeks if the government does not introduce national circuit breaker restrictions, according to City Hall sources. The Mayor has repeatedly called for a short nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus, arguing that early action would halt the worst health and economic consequences of a second wave.

London has been under Tier 2 rules for two weeks, meaning households are not allowed to mix indoors, while businesses stay open with social distancing rules in place. But Covid-19 infections are still rising in the city – there are now 155 cases per 100,000 people across the capital, up from 113 cases per 100,000 the previous week, according to the latest figures. Every borough now has more than 100 infections per 100,000 people, with more than 200 per 100,000 in three council areas – Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham and Kingston.

Yesterday, cabinet minister Robert Jenrick, the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, refused to rule out a Tier 3 lockdown in London. Minister are focused on rising deaths in the north of England and the Midlands, but are “moving into discussions” with other parts of the country, he warned.

A stricter lockdown would see pubs closed if they do not serve food and households banned from mixing outdoors as well as indoors. Businesses forced to shut would get support from the government, but hospitality workers have previously said these funds do not go far enough.

A source close to the Mayor said Khan believes that without new national restrictions London may face a longer Tier 3 lockdown, which would be “the worst possible outcome” for health and the capital’s economy.

“We know that when it comes to this virus acting early and decisively is best, both for public health, but also for the economy,” they said. “The more we delay in implementing measures, the more stringent they need to be and the longer they have to be in place.”

Jessie Matthewson is the BBC’s Local Democracy Reporter for City Hall. Follow her on Twitter.

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