Sadiq Khan says UK's Christmas will be 'the worst since WW2'
Londoners have been told to stay at home and not mix with other households even on Christmas day. The capital was among more than 16 million Britons that have been moved into new Tier 4 restrictions following the emergence of a new, more infectious strain of the coronavirus. The city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, expressed his fury over the “ineffective” nature of the Government’s tier system, issuing his own warning over the impact this will have on London’s economy.
He told Sky News: “Tier 4 will have a big impact on us without a doubt.
“This will not just be the worst Christmas we’ve had as a city since the Second World War, it’s the worst year we’ve had since the Second World War.
“Many of our sectors, culture, hospitality, leisure, tourism, retail, have suffered in ways they’ve never experienced.
“That’s why we’ve been pleading with the Government for a road map to recovery, but also for additional support to our sectors in need.”
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Mr Khan continued: “We need to make sure that these businesses that have closed temporarily haven’t got permanent closures and can reopen in the new year.
“I’ve said for some time that the current tiering system is ineffective and it isn’t working. It’s a blunt instrument and it doesn’t address the pipeline of the virus being caused.
“The hospital numbers we have are a two-week lag, and the reality is that January is the busiest month of the year, year on year.
“People catching the virus now could be going to hospital in two weeks’ time which is why we’re so concerned.”
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Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News that the Government did not want to cancel Christmas plans but “it was their duty to act”.
The announcement that the planned relaxation of restrictions for the period December 23 to 27 will be drastically altered was made yesterday by the Prime Minister.
Boris Johnson confirmed that the privilege would be completely revoked for those in Tier 4 while the rest of the country would be limited to Christmas day only.
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London and the southeast of England have currently been subjected to the highest level restrictions due to new variant of COVID-19 spreading transmission quicker.
This means all non-essential retails, including hospitality venues, must remain closed.
Mr Khan has also expressed concern over the large impact on London’s economy.
He has called for more financial support from the Government for London as a result.
The city’s mayor has warned that economic output will be down £44billion this year, and that 350,000 more jobs could be lost next year.
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