TTwo-thirds of London’s boroughs now have Covid-19 infection rates below the British average, figures released on Monday show.
The seven-day infection rate ranges from 12.5 cases per 100,000 people in Bexley to 39 in Harrow, according to the latest statistics from Public Health England.
In the capital as a whole, the rate now stands at 21.9 cases per 100,000, compared to 23.4 in England and 23.2 in the United Kingdom as a whole.
The incidence of the coronavirus in London is now more than 50 times smaller than it was during the peak of the second wave on January 4, when the rare infection reached 1,118.6.
Current figures cover the seven days through April 28.
During this period, 1,959 new cases were recorded in the capital, compared to 15,493 in the whole of the United Kingdom.
Twenty-one boroughs have infection rates below the UK average: Barking & Dagenham (23), Barnet (17.2), Bexley (12.5), Bromley (13.8), Camden (16.7) , Croydon (17.8), Enfield (14.1), Greenwich (15.6), Hackney / City of London (16.8), Hammersmith and Fulham (21.6), Haringey (14.5), Havering (15.4), Islington (16.1), Kingston-upon-Thames (19.7), Lambeth (15), Lewisham (14.1), Merton (19.4), Richmond-upon-Thames (22 , 7), Southwark (15.1), Sutton (21.8) and Waltham Forest (16.6).
Eleven boroughs have case rates above the UK average. They are: Brent (33.4), Ealing (35.4), Harrow (39), Hillingdon (31), Hounslow (35.7), Kensington & Chelsea (28.8), Newham (29.2), Redbridge (25.9), Tower Hamlets (29.9), Wandsworth (25.2) and Westminster (27.9).
The latest figures have been released as it has been reported that the one-meter-plus social distancing rule will be removed from June 21.
Restaurants, pubs, theaters and cinemas will be able to fully reopen for the first time in 15 months, although masks will need to be worn in some cases, according to the Times.
A return to unlimited exchange for hospitality from June 21 is “critical” and will mean businesses can “opt out of life support,” an industry leader said.
Responding to the Times report, Kate Nicholls, managing director of business organization UKHospitality, said Monday: “These reports are welcome if they are true.
“However, we have to wait and see all the details of the plans, as any restrictions on locations will continue to impact revenues and commercial viability.
“A return to unrestricted commerce on June 21 is essential and will mean hospitality businesses (can) end their life and be viable for the first time in almost 16 months.
“We are urging the government to confirm reopening dates and these plans as soon as possible, which will build confidence and allow companies to step up planning and bring back staff.” “
A spokesperson for the UK Cinema Association said the organization hopes face covers will not be a permanent requirement.
He said: ‘We firmly believe that our exemplary safety record – with no cases of Covid tracing back to any UK location – and our ability to manage the movement of moviegoers in modern, highly ventilated indoor environments offers ample evidence that any easing from June 21 can be safely undertaken without the need for other permanent restrictions, including any face covering requirements.
Bereaved families will be able to invite more than 30 mourners to the funeral from May 17.