London and Essex to go to 'Tier 2'

Andrew Cummings
October 18, 2020

Speaking at London's City Hall, mayor Sadiq Khan said there was "simply no other option".

Birmingham, part of the West Midlands, and other areas have been put under further restrictions after a rise in confirmed coronavirus cases, with London, Essex, and York set to enter the higher infection tiers from midnight.

The latest decision was announced after the new three-level COVID-19 alert system came into force Wednesday across England, with the level being decided according to local infection rates.

Tier 2, "High" means no mixing between households indoors, the rule of six applies outdoors and the on-trade must shut at 10pm, while Tier 3, "Very High" is the strictest level and completely prevents households mixing in any area, pubs and bars must close if they do not serve hot meals and people may be prevented from travelling in or out of the affected area.

Mr Khan told the London Assembly: "Final conversations with ministers are ongoing around this as we meet - but I expect ministers to make an announcement to Parliament later today".

"In London, we experienced the worst of COVID-19 back in the spring".

It means household mixing indoors is banned, so many families from Kent will no longer be able to travel up to see relatives in their homes.

United Kingdom health minister Helen Whateley announced the news to London members of Parliament in a call on Thursday morning.

He said: "No one wants to see this, but it is necessary to protect Londoners", after warning cases would soon reach 100 per 100,000 people.

Greater Manchester and Lancashire could join Liverpool City Region and be placed under Tier 3 - "very high".

In addition to these restrictions, in areas on high alert in Tier 2 now including north-east England, much of the North West and parts of the Midlands, along with West and South Yorkshire and soon to include London different households are not allowed to mix indoors.

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