"this is deemed to be necessary in order to protect Londoners"
From October 17, 2020, London will face Tier 2 Covid-19 restrictions, with Mayor Sadiq Khan warning that the virus is “spreading rapidly in every corner of our city”.
It means that millions of citizens in the capital will be banned from meeting people from other households indoors, whether it is in their homes or in the pubs.
Londoners have also been advised to avoid public transport and reduce the number of journeys they make where possible.
Essex will also move to Tier 2 in a bid to curb Covid-19 restrictions.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that there was “simply no other option”.
He explained that Covid-19 is “spreading rapidly in every corner of our city”, with a “significant number” of boroughs reporting an average of 100 cases per 100,000 people.
Speaking at London’s City Hall, Mr Khan said:
“Nobody wants to see more restrictions, but this is deemed to be necessary in order to protect Londoners by myself, London council leaders and ministers.
“We’ve got a difficult winter ahead.”
He said that “action on a national scale” was still required, given “how far the virus has already been allowed to spread” and the government’s “complete failure to get a working test, trace and isolate system in place”.
Mr Khan backed Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s call for a “short national circuit breaker” lockdown, which “could save thousands of lives and drive the virus down to manageable levels”.
Mr Khan added: “In London, we experienced the worst of Covid-19 back in the spring.
“Thousands of lives were lost and our economy has been left reeling.
“We simply can’t afford for the government to be slow to act again.”
Health Minister Helen Whately told London MPs of the decision during a call on October 15, 2020.
The three-tier system was unveiled by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on October 12, 2020, and every area in England has been classed as being on medium, high or very high alert, depending on the number of Covid-19 cases.
London was originally placed in Tier 1, however, it was heavily speculated that it would move into Tier 2.
On October 13, Mr Khan said that further restrictions were “inevitable” as hospital admissions and infection rates were “going in the wrong direction”.
London’s average infection rate was 78 new cases per 100,000 people in the week in the week up to October 9, 2020.
However, it varies across boroughs. Ealing had 119 new cases, while Bexley had 51.6.
In addition to London being moved into Tier 2, Greater Manchester will move into Tier 3 and join the Liverpool City region as the only two areas in ‘very high’.