London ‘highly likely’ to go into Tier 3 ‘within weeks’ if Government does not bring in coronavirus ‘circuit breaker’ – City Hall source

Published: 30 October 2020

Post Desk : Sadiq Khan believes it is “highly likely” that London will be moved into Tier 3 within weeks if the Government does not bring in a circuit breaker, it emerged today.

The Mayor fears the step may then lead to “a longer lockdown” which would be the “worst possible outcome both for public health and our economy”, a City Hall source said.

He is urging all Londoners to abide by social distancing rules in an effort to avoid the stricter measures which include a ban on meeting people outside your household or bubble indoors, in your garden, and many other public spaces.

Pubs, other parts of the hospitality sector and other businesses could also be hit with further restrictions.

The looming possibility of London being moved into Tier 3 means the city is facing stricter restrictions either through the tier system or a “circuit breaker” national lockdown.

Mr Khan believes the Government and health authorities need to act “early and decisively” to fight the pandemic and that ministers should have ordered a circuit breaker, as recommended by the Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee for Emergencies weeks ago.

There have been tentative signs that the rise in cases in London is easing up. But the epidemic is still spreading, with the whole capital having gone over the key threshold of 100 new cases a week per 100,000 people, which was a trigger indicator for going into Tier 2.

Putting the whole of the capital into Tier 3 would inevitably spark a fresh debate over whether boroughs with lower levels of the virus should be excluded.

However, health chiefs say it is very difficult to impose measures in part of the capital, but not others, given the way people work and their lifestyles moving across the city.

A City Hall source said: “We know that when it comes to this virus acting early and decisively is best, both for public health, but also for the economy. The more we delay in implementing measures, the more stringent they need to be and the longer they have to be in place.

“The Mayor is clear that with cases, hospitalisations and deaths rising across the country since August, the Government should have listened to the advice of SAGE and introduced a short circuit breaker. Ministers must act to bring in a circuit breaker before it’s too late and the country is plunged into a deeper health crisis with a longer lockdown needed.

“If Government does not bring in a circuit breaker, it’s highly likely that tier 3 restrictions will be brought to London in the coming weeks, and then a longer lockdown might well be needed. This would be worst possible outcome both for public health and our economy.

“The Mayor urges Londoners to continue following the restrictions and public health guidance, and do all they can to protect each other and help reduce the spread of the virus.”