Stricter restrictions to reduce the spread of the coronavirus are to apply in London from Saturday, the mayor of the British capital said on Thursday.
The virus is “spreading rapidly in every corner of our city,’’ Sadiq Khan said in front of the 25-strong London Assembly that is elected to hold the mayor accountable.
The new restrictions ban millions of people in the capital from meeting people from other households indoors.
The move applies for homes as well as venues like pubs and restaurants.
“Nobody wants to see more restrictions, but this is deemed to be necessary in order to protect Londoners’ lives by myself, London council leaders and by ministers,’’ Khan said.
Londoners were also advised to avoid public transport and, if possible, reduce the number of journeys they make.
“I must warn Londoners that we’ve got a difficult winter ahead,’’ Khan said.
Outdoor meetings with up to six people are still allowed.
With the new measures, the capital has moved to the second highest level in England’s three-tier warning system.
Several London boroughs have in recent days exceeded the threshold of 100 coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Khan – like opposition Labour party leader, Keir Starmer and several health advisers – has called for a renewed national lockdown to contain the pandemic more effectively.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, however, has so far stuck to his regional three-tier system.
As of Wednesday, the UK has recorded 654,644 cases of the novel coronavirus and 43,155 COVID-19-related deaths.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Abdulfatah Babatunde