BBC says London likely to be placed under toughest tier of COVID-19 curbs
LONDON (UK) – In the backdrop of a sharp spurt in the number of coronavirus cases, there are chances of London being placed in the toughest tier of COVID-19 curbs, said the BBC on Monday.
Earlier this month, the government implemented a three-tiered system of restrictions in England to try to keep a second wave of the virus under control following a month-long lockdown. More than 40% of citizens were placed in the highest risk category.
However the capital, whose 9 million people and world-leading financial centre make it the engine of the British economy, is currently only in the second-highest tier of restrictions.
A countrywide review of the tier system is scheduled to take place on Dec. 16, although a decision could come sooner with Health Secretary Matt Hancock due to speak in parliament at 1530 GMT and then later host a press conference.
The main difference between the top two tiers is that bars and restaurants, which can stay open under certain conditions in tier two, must close their doors in tier three and can only operate takeaway services.
There are also additional restrictions on socialising, but workplaces and schools are told to remain open.
“Moving into Tier 3 before Christmas will be deeply disappointing for Londoners, and a terrible blow to the capital’s hospitality, leisure and cultural sectors,” said John Dickie, Director of Strategy and Policy at business campaign group London First.
London was one of the first parts of the country to be hit by the coronavirus during the initial March-to-May peak, but until recently a second wave has been more concentrated in northern and central England.