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

Clay Curtis
October 15, 2020

MPs in the capital have been told London will move to Tier 2 at midnight on Friday, meaning households will be banned from mixing indoors including in pubs from Saturday.

The UK government is also expected to move Greater Manchester and Lancashire into the most serious tier - "very high" - as the number of coronavirus cases in the north of England continues to rise.

Under Tier 1 restrictions, groups of more than six are not allowed, indoors or outdoors, and pubs, bars and restaurants must close by 10pm.

MILLIONS OF PEOPLE in London are set to face tougher coronavirus restrictions banning households mixing indoors, but a political row has meant no decision has been made on Greater Manchester.

Speaking at London's City Hall, Labour mayor Sadiq Khan said there was "simply no other option".

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

Mr Johnson remains desperate to avoid any form of national lockdown - despite demands from Labour for a temporary "circuit-breaker" to break the train of transmission and stem the spread of the disease.

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England's Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to formally announce the decision on Thursday morning local time after 12 of London's boroughs breached the threshold of 100 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.

Meanwhile, Harlow MP Robert Halfon said he would back Tier 2 measures for Essex but would call on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to prevent businesses suffering financially from the move.

The Greater Manchester mayor was joined at the news conference by Steve Rotherham, the mayor of the Liverpool City Region, who also raised the prospect of a legal challenge against the government.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons on Thursday in a statement that coronavirus is "deadly and is spreading exponentially in the United Kingdom".

"So, for me, it appears to be discriminatory that the government are saying "well, we gave people 80% in March, but because it's happening to somewhere in the Liverpool City Region, you're only going to be able to get two-thirds of your wage". "It is essential that no one should be faced with added financial hardship through redundancy or a loss of earnings, and is able to access benefits or crisis support straight away should they need to".

He was bolstered by a YouGov poll showing 68% of adults in Great Britain would support a two-week shutdown to coincide with the October half term break.

Under the plan, backed by a teaching union, pupils would be taught remotely at home for the second week.

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