Covid alert level: London and Essex to move into Tier 2 restrictions

  • Covid alert level: London and Essex to move into Tier 2 restrictions

Covid alert level: London and Essex to move into Tier 2 restrictions

Neighbouring county Essex could join the English capital in Tier 2 from this weekend.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said "final conversations" with ministers are still ongoing but the capital will move into tier two, meaning indoor household mixing will be banned from midnight Friday.

As of midnight Friday, Londoners will be prohibited from mixing with other households in homes and other indoor settings, including hospitality venues, after the United Kingdom government agreed with London mayor Sadiq Khan that the city required tougher restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

But confusion is growing as to whether Greater Manchester will move into the very high coronavirus alert level, with local leaders said to be holding out for additional support.

Khan told the London Assembly that talks were continuing but he expected authorities to move London into the second of three risk categories based on "expert public health and scientific advice" about what is needed to save lives.

And Lancashire MPs have been told that the region will stay under Tier 2 restrictions, despite speculation it would move into Tier 3.

"Nobody wants to see more restrictions but this is deemed to be necessary in order to protect Londoners", he said.

Ministers are now being briefed over the new measures in a call with Health Minister Helen Whately.

But Rupa Huq, Labour MP for Ealing Central and Acton in west London, tweeted that she was "unconvinced this tinkering is really enough" and called for a circuit-breaker to stop the disease "spreading like wildfire".

Khan has been pushing for London's alert status to changed from "medium" to "high" and had a meeting with UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty on Wednesday.

Mr Hancock announced a tightening of rules for a number of areas with London moving to a Tier 2 alert level from early on Saturday morning.

However, as yet there is no agreement on financial support for the region.

Meanwhile, Liverpool is considering a two-week half-term break for schools as part of its "battle with Covid-19".