London will be plunged into a Level 2 lockdown from Saturday, a government minister said.
Millions of people in London are now set to face tighter Level 2 Covid restrictions from this weekend, banning households from mingling indoors, local MPs have been told.
Ministers are currently being briefed on the new measures after Health Minister Helen Whately made the announcement to MPs in London this morning (October 15).
The Prime Minister is about to make an announcement this morning after the briefing.
The change in level from ‘medium’ to ‘high’ will result in the introduction of a more stringent set of measures, including banning Londoners from mingling with other households indoors – including in pubs and the restaurants.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has said he expects the capital to be moved under the restrictions on level 2 coronaviruses.
Mr Khan told the London Assembly: Final conversations with ministers are underway on this as we meet, but I expect ministers to make an announcement in parliament later today .
He said the decision was based on public health experts and scientific advice on what is needed to save lives in the city.
In addition to the restrictions already in place, it would mean that different households in London would not be allowed to mix inside, he said.
No one wants to see more restrictions, but it is deemed necessary to protect the lives of Londoners by myself, the leaders of the London Council and the ministers.
The announcement follows a meeting with the Joint Biosafety Center yesterday (October 15), after which London Mayor Sadiq Khan told the capital’s health chiefs that such an initiative could be underway.
Mr Khan also urged Downing Street to put in place a substantial support program, Mirror reports.
The mayor of London asked for clarification on arrangements for business, support for vulnerable Londoners and testing and traceability efforts in the capital, including for those who are self-isolating after warning the city is about to be.
The meeting was chaired by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, and also saw recommendations for much of the North West and North East and large parts of Yorkshire and the Midlands to be placed in level 3 “very high”.
Mr Hancock will unveil the latest plans in a House of Commons statement this morning (October 15).
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It comes after Boris Johnson announced the new three-tier lockdown system for England earlier this week.
Revealing the new measures at a press conference in Downing Street on Monday, October 12, the Prime Minister warned that the rise in coronavirus cases and hospital admissions were flashing as “dashboard warnings on a plane from passengers “.
In an attempt to “simplify, standardize and in some cases toughen” existing COVID-19 restrictions, the PM also announced a new “three-tier” lockdown system for England to “crush this virus wherever it appears” .
But new measures may soon be underway, as many have asked the government to go further.
Labor leader Keir Starmer broke ranks on Tuesday to demand new national restrictions to prevent the country from “sleepwalking into a long, dark winter” as infection rates soared.
The drastic measure could be scheduled to coincide with the English schools semester starting October 26.
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What are the high level / level 2 locking restrictions?
This is for areas with a higher level of infection, which means the following measures are in place:
- All businesses and locations can continue to operate, secured by Covid, except for those that remain closed by law, such as nightclubs and places of adult entertainment.
- Some businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Businesses and places selling food for consumption off the premises may continue to do so after 10 p.m., provided this is done through a delivery service, click-and-collect or delivery service
- Schools, universities and places of worship remain open
- Weddings and funerals may take place with restrictions on the number of participants
- Organized indoor sport and exercise classes may continue to take place, provided the rule of six is followed
- The rule of six will continue to apply outdoors and in private gardens
- People should not meet anyone outside their home or support the bubble indoors, whether at home or in a public place
- People should aim to reduce the number of trips they take when possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead and avoid rush hour and public transport routes