Coronavirus: London lockdown rules tightened as city moved into ‘tier 2’ of government system with Covid-19 cases rising fast

Dame Margaret has demanded action from health secretary Matt Hancock. Picture: PA

Dame Margaret has demanded action from health secretary Matt Hancock. Picture: PA - Credit: PA

North Londoners will wake up on Saturday to tighter Covid-19 restrictions.

London MPs have been told the city – as a whole – is set to be moved into tier two of the government’s new framework of measures in hope of stopping the escalating second wave of coronavirus.

The move into tier 2 will see socialising with households other than your own banned from 12.01am on Saturday morning.

Health secretary Matt Hancock announced the move to parliament on Thursday morning.

Mr Hancock told MPs: “Infection rates are on a steep upward path with the number of cases doubling every 10 days.

“The seven-day average case rate stands today at 97 rising sharply. We know from the first peak, the infection can spread fast and put huge pressures on the NHS so we must act now to prevent the need for tougher measures later on.

“So working closely with the mayor, with cross-party council leadership, with local public health officials and the national team, we’ve together agreed that London needs to move to local Covid alert level high.”

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Mr Hancock thanked those who work and live in the capital, adding: “We all need to play our part in getting the virus under control once again.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “It is clear that the virus is now spreading rapidly in every part of our city, and hospital and ICU admissions are steadily rising. Time and again it has been shown it is better to act earlier than too late.”

Mr Khan said the move followed discussions with ministers, senior health advisers and council leaders. He also called on the public to minimise the journeys they make where possible and said “there are no good options”.

He also called on the government to provide more financial support for businesses and “vulnerable Londoners”.

Mr Khan, and Camden councillors Sian Berry (Green, Highgate) and Luisa Porritt (Lib Dem, Belsize) who are both challenging him next year in the London mayoral elections, are among those to come out in favour of a “short, effective” lockdown.