London Coronavirus Restrictions To Increase From Tier One To Tier Two
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The coronavirus restrictions in London will increase from tier one to tier two, MPs in the capital have been told.
Cases in London - as with much of the UK - have been on the rise, and figures such as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan have argued that the restrictions should be increased for some time.
The new restrictions will come into force at midnight on Friday 16 October and mean that Londoners will no longer be able to mix indoors with those from other households, on top of the existing countrywide 'rule of six'.
Pubs and hospitality venues will still be required to close at 10pm, but can remain open.
Business Minster Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News: "This is really difficult, it's a balance between effectively two harms... the harm the virus is doing and obviously the harm to the economy and also to health of having the national lockdown.
"So the local lockdowns are the best way forward. The decisions are made with a heavy heart, really hard decisions...whether it be in Liverpool with Steve Rotheram (Mayor of the Liverpool City Region) there, and I have to pay tribute to him, the work we did with him over the weekend was pretty remarkable...
"I hope we can do the same with Andy Burnham (Mayor of Greater Manchester) and other parts of the country clearly as well, not just obviously Greater Manchester, but London and elsewhere as well."
Health Secretary Matt Hancock will address the House of Commons today to offer MPs an update on the developments in the UK Government's fight against the resurgent virus.
Khan tweeted: "We also need an immediate increase in testing capacity so that London's testing rates can increase to the national average, and low-paid workers who are ineligible for benefits must receive the adequate support they need to self-isolate and keep their community safe.
"The Government must also commit to protecting vulnerable Londoners. It is essential that no one should be faced with added financial hardship through redundancy or a loss of earnings, and is able to access benefits or crisis support straight away should they need to."
Speaking to the London Assembly, Khan also argued that more action should be taken on a national scale, as recommended by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).
Khan, as well as Labour leader Keir Starmer, has called for a 'circuit breaker' lockdown of a few weeks as he believes it would save lives and allow the government some breathing space to bring the test and trace strategy up to speed.
Khan argued that the idea that there is a choice between saving the economy and saving lives is false as delaying the increase of restrictions will necessitate stronger restrictions further down the line.
However, some London MPs - such as Wimbledon's Stephen Hammond and Bromley and Chislehurst's Bob Neill - have argued against the block restrictions across the capital, suggesting that they should be assessed on a borough-by-borough basis.