Statement from Sadiq Khan Mayor of London.
Important Coronavirus update. It is clear that the virus is now spreading rapidly in every part of our city, and hospital and ICU admissions are steadily rising. Time and again it has been shown that it is better to act earlier than to act too late – which would cost more lives and damage more livelihoods. I am not willing to put Londoners’ lives at risk and we must do all we can to minimise economic damage.
“That is why, following discussions between me, ministers and our city’s senior health advisers and council leaders, the Government will move London into tier 2 restrictions – alert level high – from the start of 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.
“There are no good options. I know these further restrictions will require Londoners to make yet more sacrifices, but the disastrous failure of the test, trace and isolate system leaves us with little choice. I am well aware that these restrictions will have a further significant impact on businesses in our city, which is why the Government must come forward with more financial support for affected businesses and local authorities immediately, as well as for vulnerable Londoners struggling to get by.
“I still believe that, as SAGE recommended to ministers, the immediate priority should now also be a short national circuit breaker. This would allow us to get the reinfection rate down to a manageable level and give the Government more time finally to get a grip on the failing test and trace system. But 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.”