London and Essex to go to 'Tier 2'

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 17, 2020

From midnight tonight (17 October), households across the capital will be barred from mixing in any indoor setting including pubs, restaurants and bars, after it was decided that the city's Coronavirus alert level would be raised from Tier 1 ('medium') to Tier 2 ('high').

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to address Parliament later on Thursday to announce the changes. Under Tier 2, people are not allowed to socialise indoors with anyone they don't live with, but can still meet outdoors in groups of up to six. This means a ban on households mixing indoors, a 10pm curfew for bars and restaurants, and social groups being limited to a maximum of six people. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said there was "simply no other option".

Khan told Sky News that different London boroughs had been recording varying infection rates, and that moving to Tier 2 was "inevitable".

Liverpool was recently placed at Tier 3 and Greater Manchester and Lancashire are expected to be placed under the same restrictions shortly.

Khan had written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeking details about what assistance would be provided to businesses and individuals affected by such a move. He said that "nobody wants to see more restrictions, but this is deemed to be necessary in order to protect Londoners".

The "very high" alert level bans socialising, forces pubs and bars to close and prohibits travel outside the area under the restriction.

The government has said it is also talking with leaders of other parts of northern England where COVID-19 infection rates are higher than other parts of the country.

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