Covid: London likely to move to tier 3 amid rising rates

BBC

14th December, 2020 07:07:52 printer

Covid: London likely to move to tier 3 amid rising rates

London faces a move to tier three - England's highest level of coronavirus restrictions - in the coming days, the BBC has been told.

. rise in Covid-19 cases across the capital.

The BBC's Hugh Pym reports London MPs have been briefed on the latest data, with a move to tier three now believed to be possible as soon as today.

But our health editor said no final decision had been made.

Council leaders in London are understood to be alarmed at the projected rise in cases and some are pushing for a "tier three plus" regime with tougher restrictions than tier three on its own.

Essex may also be moved up to tier three, which would mean that mixing with other households anywhere indoors is banned, advice against travelling to other areas, and sports fans excluded from events.

With Kent, Medway and Slough already under tier three rules, large parts of south-east England could soon join much of the Midlands, North West and North East under the strictest curbs on social contacts.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said if ministers decide to move the capital to tier three, they must do so "with open eyes and realise the catastrophic consequence" to hospitality, culture and retail.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is due to make a statement in the House of Commons at 15:30 GMT.

Some areas in and around London have recorded large increases in confirmed coronavirus cases over the past week.

Epping Forest, on the Greater London-Essex border, has recorded a 71% increase in cases during the most recent seven-day period, according to the latest data.

Havering, in east London, has seen a 48.5% rise with a rolling rate of 470.8 confirmed Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

Hugh Pym added: "It's a fast-moving situation. I understand that health officials have presented data to council leaders and London MPs showing a sharp rise in virus cases just in the last few days or so and the projection that without further action they could start rising very, very rapidly indeed."

Tier three (very high) rules

  • You cannot mix indoors, in private gardens or in most outdoor venues, except with your household or bubble
  • You can meet in a group of up to six in other outdoor spaces, such as parks, beaches or countryside
  • Shops, gyms and personal care services (such as hairdressing) can stay open
  • Bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants must stay closed, except for delivery and takeaway
  • Sports fans cannot attend events in stadiums
  • Indoor entertainment venues - such as bowling alleys and cinemas - must stay closed
  • People are advised not to travel to and from tier three areas

Some areas in and around London have recorded large increases in confirmed coronavirus cases over the past week.

Epping Forest, on the Greater London-Essex border, has recorded a 71% increase in cases during the most recent seven-day period, according to the latest data.

Havering, in east London, has seen a 48.5% rise with a rolling rate of 470.8 confirmed Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

Hugh Pym added: "It's a fast-moving situation. I understand that health officials have presented data to council leaders and London MPs showing a sharp rise in virus cases just in the last few days or so and the projection that without further action they could start rising very, very rapidly indeed."


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