London’s new lockdown rules explained as capital’s threat level rises to ‘high’

London’s new lockdown rules explained as capital’s threat level rises to ‘high’

 

Millions of Londoners face tougher coronavirus restrictions from Saturday, with the capital’s threat level set to go up.

This morning it was confirmed that London will move from “medium” to “high” as a result of soaring infection rates.

London MPs were today told by Health Minister Helen Whately that changes would come into effect at 00.01 on Saturday.

It follows pleas for tougher measures and financial support by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who wrote: “Urgent action is needed to protect Londoners and bring the virus under control in our city…

“Government must provide proper financial help to all businesses and vulnerable Londoners affected by restrictions, as well as local authorities who support them.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock will announce the move in the Commons today, and is also expected to raise Greater Manchester and parts of Lancashire to “very high” – meaning pubs will be forced to close.

The Tier 2 rules set to be introduced in London mean people will no longer be allowed to meet others not in their household or bubble indoors.

Social bubbles remain in place though, so people can meet others in their extended households.

However, one thing that is now allowed is to meet family and friends in each other’s gardens, as well as beer gardens. But going into someone else’s house, or meeting in a public setting such as cafe, is still not allowed.

All outdoor meetings must also follow the existing Rule of Six limits.

Travel is also discouraged where possible. Anyone needing to travel is asked to walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead to avoid busy times and routes on public transport.

The 10pm pub curfew and advice to work from home where possible remain in place.

People living in Tier 2 locations who had to shield earlier this year  will be asked to follow additional guidance.

That means reducing the number of different people met outside and avoiding travel except for essential journeys.

People who previously had to shield are also encouraged to work from home where possible, or ensure workplaces are Covid secure if that’s not possible. Children should still attend school.

Shopping trips should also be reduced, or made at quieter times.

Latest data shows an alarming rise in new cases in the capital.

Ealing, Richmond, Hackney, Redbridge & Harrow are raising the worst concern among experts.

Yesterday data from Public Health England showed the infection rate had risen to 144.8 per 100,000 people in Ealing – up from 87.2 the week before.

There was a large rise in Richmond, where the rate hit 137.9 after 273 new cases were identified.

Hammersmith and Fulham has a rate of 115.6, while Haringey is at 117.3.

Data presented to local MPs showed only 30% of intensive care beds were free in the capital to deal with the sickest patients.

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