30 October 2020 20:32
In mid-October, lockdown restrictions were stepped up in the capital as per the government's new-fangled three-tiered system. Tier 2 saw indoor interactions between households squashed, as well as a 10pm curfew for hospitality venues and the continuation of the rule of six for outdoor socialising. But each London borough is currently reporting more than 100 active cases per 100,000 people, and Imperial College London researchers estimate the R rate (as in, how fast the virus is reproducing) in London could be as high as 2.9. That means that, at present, each infected person in London passes on the virus to almost three other people. As such, there's understandably a lot more chatter building around London moving up into the next lockdown level: Tier 3, aka Very High Alert.
Tier 3 lockdown measures for beauty treatments have varied by area, with some parts of the country negotiating to keep salons open while other areas have closed the venues. These measures in London would act as a baseline set in law once we enter Tier 3. Given the size of London and the varying rates of infection, many have speculated that new measures may include per borough restrictions or limitations on travel around the capital. Sadiq Khan believes a Tier 3 London lockdown is "highly likely" in the coming weeks if the Government does not introduce national circuit breaker restrictions, according to City Hall sources. London has been under Tier 2 rules for two weeks, meaning households are not allowed to mix indoors, while businesses stay open with social distancing rules in place.
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. London during Coronavirus lockdown - In pictures 1 /50 London during Coronavirus lockdown - In pictures A woman jogging near City Hall, London, the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown PA An image of Queen Elizabeth II and quotes from her broadcast on Sunday to the UK and the Commonwealth in relation to the coronavirus epidemic are displayed on lights in London's Piccadilly Circus PA A pedestrian walks past a billboard reading "Please believe these days will pass" on Broadway Market in east London AFP via Getty Images Military vehicles cross Westminster Bridge Getty Images Boris Johnson Jeremy Selwyn Sun-seekers cool off in the water and sunbathe on the riverbank at Hackney Marshes in east London AFP via Getty Images Ed Davey is shown on screens as he speaks via videolink during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London PA A herd of fallow deer graze on the lawns in front of a housing estate in Harold Hill in east London AFP via Getty Images A woman wearing a mask crosses a bridge over Camden Lock, London PA An empty Millenium Bridge PA A sign advertising a book titled "How Will We Survive On Earth?" is seen on an underground station platform Getty Images People push to enter the Niketown shop in Londo AP Jo Proudlove and daughter Eve, 9, follow the daily online "PE with Joe" Joe Wickes' exercise class on "Fancy dress Friday Reuters Police in Westminster Jeremy Selwyn Waterloo station looking empty PA Getty Images A quiet Parliament Square Getty Images PABest A man walks along a passageway at London's Oxford Street Underground station the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the Coronavirus PA Social distancing markers around the camel enclosure at ZSL London Zoo PA A police car patrols Greenwich Park in London PA The Premier League in action in front of empty stands AP Novikov restaurant in London with its shutters pulled down while the restaurant is closed. 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.
"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. Several regions have now entered lockdown under the Government's Tier system, some under the highest possible restrictions. London, the UK's biggest city, remains one step away from Tier 3, but may soon be pushed over the line. London's case rate has nearly tipped the scale towards Tier 3 requirements, as the city has a case rate of 151 per 100,000 per data from October 17 to 23. It's only a matter of time before London will go into a Tier 3 lockdown, according to Government sources. They said it could be 'within two weeks' given how quickly coronavirus is currently spreading in the capital. In the week of October 17 to 23, London's Covid rate had increased from 111 per 100,000 people to 151. The capital's R (reproduction) rate, which measures how quickly the virus reproduces, may be as high as 2.9, according to researchers at Imperial College London. The city is currently under Tier 2 lockdown rules, meaning that different households cannot mix with each other indoors, whether that be in a private home or somewhere public like a restaurant. If London moves into Tier 3, people will be banned from mixing between households at all, even outside. Many businesses may also be told to close, like pubs and bars, unless they serve 'substantial meals', as well as casinos, betting shops, gyms and leisure centres, including swimming pools. The rule of six in terms of meeting up with others and the 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants still applies everywhere in England, whatever tier you're in.