London lockdown: fears of further restrictions following surge in coronavirus cases | Politics | News


Health authorities confirmed new coronavirus restrictions applicable to Wigan, Stockport, Blackpool, Leeds and parts of Wales on Friday. The new measures have sounded alarm bells in London following a spike in cases and hospital admissions in the capital.

The city’s R rate can currently reach 1.5, government advisers said.
Areas affected by local lockdowns in the North West, North East and Midlands also had a similar infection rate.

On September 25, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said the capital “is currently at a very worrying tipping point”.

Mr Khan also criticized ministers, saying they need to “master” the tests.

He added, “We are seeing a sharp increase in 111 calls, hospital admissions and intensive care patients.

“The near collapse of tests and traces and the resurgence of the virus means that further measures to slow its spread were badly needed.

“Testing capacity has been diverted from London over the past two weeks to other national hot spots and the number of weekly tests is now down 43% in the capital since mid-August.

“The lack of testing capacity is totally unacceptable and that is why London has been added to the government’s coronavirus watchlist as a matter of concern. “

READ MORE: London braces for lockdown as health chief warns of rising COVID tide

The measures include stricter rules on wearing a mask as well as tougher penalties for non-compliance.

Bar staff, retail employees and waiters must now wear a face mask at all times when serving customers.

Pubs, bars and restaurants must now offer table service only and close at 10 p.m.

Delivery services, however, are permitted to remain open after the 10 p.m. curfew.

But Mr Johnson insisted the new rules did not suggest that a full lockdown be imposed again.


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