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Further restrictions to stem the spread of coronavirus in London are “inevitable”, Sadiq Khan has warned.
The mayor of London said he had discussed options for three levels of potential restrictions with the health secretary, Matt Hancock, “because we don’t want to see in October and November what we saw in March and April”.
Khan told LBC radio the virus was spreading throughout the capital, so any new rules would be London-wide rather than targeted at individual boroughs.
“You’ve got three buckets: level one the least restrictions, level three the most – similar to lockdown-type measures,” he said. “What’s clear to me is that it’s inevitable there will be additional restrictions in London.
“And one of the things we are discussing as ‘one London’ – that’s me and the 32/33 boroughs – is what we think the right level should be and then work with government to make sure we have the right level there.”
Warning that London was at “a very serious tipping point”, Khan said he expected the details of fresh measures to be revealed next week at the same time as fresh lockdown restrictions in northern England.
London’s infection rate of 0.3% of the population is already on a par with Yorkshire, according to the Office of National Statistics, compared with 0.5% in north-west and north-east England.
London was hit first by the pandemic but appeared to be avoiding the flare-ups experienced elsewhere during the second wave. However, experts believe it could be just a matter of time before it starts experiencing infection levels seen elsewhere.
Prof Callum Semple, of Liverpool University and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said: “London is lagging behind. Give it four weeks and south London could be where Manchester and Liverpool are now.”
The latest figures for London, published on Friday, show that Richmond upon Thames had the highest infection rate in the capital in the week ending 5 October, with 112.1 new cases per 100,000 people. The number of cases in the borough rose to 222 from 89 in the previous week.
The second highest infection rate in London was 108.8 in Redbridge. The number of cases there increased from 240 to 332.
The Evening Standard reported that some of the figures in London may be skewed by students from the capital becoming ill at universities outside of their home boroughs.
It reported that an analysis of positive cases in Richmond since 20 September found that out of about half the cases for which the council had postcodes, almost a quarter of them were for places including Manchester, Durham, Leeds and Exeter, suggesting students results were being sent to their GPs at home in London.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Sadiq Khan: further Covid restrictions in London ‘inevitable’ | Coronavirus outbreak