London to tighten coronavirus restrictions starting this weekend amid rising cases

Photo courtesy: Adam Derewecki on Pixabay
Photo courtesy: Adam Derewecki on Pixabay

London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Thursday said that London will tighten coronavirus restrictions due to a rising number of cases with the capital moving to tier two high alert level starting Saturday.  

"This will mean Londoners will not be able to mix between different households indoors – which includes in their homes and inside pubs and restaurants. Londoners should also aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible, " read a statement by the Mayor.

"Moving London to the next tier of restrictions from Saturday will, we hope, help slow the spread of the virus, take pressure off the NHS and help avert the possibility of a full lockdown lasting months – which would be the worst possible outcome for Londoners and our economy," the statement added. 

Khan earlier on Thursday had said that London was facing a "critical moment" as "the virus is spreading rapidly in every corner of our city". 

"We'll soon reach an average of 100 cases per 100,000 people, with a significant number of boroughs already over that threshold. Hospital admissions are up, more patients are going into intensive care units and, sadly, the number of Londoners dying every day is increasing again," he added. 

The opposition Labour Party has been pushing for stricter measures to curb the rising COVID-19 cases with Labour leader Keir Starmer asking Prime Minister Boris Johnson to order a two-week "circuit-breaker" lockdown.

The United Kingdom saw almost 20,000 new positive cases on Wednesday with 137 deaths. 

PM Johnson has so far resisted imposing another national lockdown citing severe economic and social consequences of a repeat of such measures as were imposed in March.

The government has instituted a three-tier alert system based on infection rates with Liverpool currently the only place on the highest alert level.