London lockdown: Capital avoids Tier 2…despite Sadiq warning of ‘additional restrictions’

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The nine million residents across London have avoided being banned from seeing their friends and family indoors as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his Three-Tier system.

It came as official statistics revealed London’s infection rate has doubled in a fortnight but while addressing the House of Commons today, Mr Johnson revealed the capital will not have further restrictions imposed.

However, before the Prime Minister’s update, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, warned the capital is at a “serious tipping point”.

Writing on Twitter, the Mayor of London wrote: “London is at a serious tipping point in the spread of this virus – and we need to start preparing for additional restrictions.

“How we act now determines where we are in the weeks to come.

“Please act with caution and follow the rules – lives depend on it.”

The newly announced Three-Tier system sees regions split into categories based on how high the risk of catching coronavirus is.

The medium tier sees regions continue to follow the current restrictions including a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants.

The second tier sees a ban on households mixing but only indoors as families and friends can continue seeing each other in gardens.

And the very high-risk category bans households mixing indoors and outdoors and pubs and gyms will be forced to close again.

Merseyside will be placed under Tier 3 with harsher measures taking place from Wednesday – with more regions likely to be added.

Knowsley and Liverpool are currently in the top three for infection rates in England.

Over a seven day period up until October 8, there were nearly 4,000 new cases reported from the areas.

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As regions across the country are expected to be put into some form of lockdown measures again, the government pointed to its second Job Support Scheme, set to launch on November 1 and last for six months.

Although the new scheme will see the government pay two thirds of each employee’s salary – up to a maximum of £2,100 a month – local leaders have said it is not enough.

Seven local leaders, including Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson, issued a statement to the government saying: “We made it clear we do not feel that the furlough scheme announced recently is adequate and that businesses in the region especially those in the hospitality sector and those serving it will be damaged and many will suffer long term damage or close for good.

“Government made it very, very clear they would not shift and improve the scheme.”

Metro mayor Steven Rotheram told Channel 4 News: “We have a huge number, a disproportionate number, working in the visitor economy who are on less than £9 an hour.

“If he (Chancellor Rishi Sunak) thinks that this is something that we will accept, well it’s not.”

This comes after top medical chiefs, including Jonathan Van-Tam and NHS medical director Stephen Powis, warned the number of patients in hospitals was now higher than before the national lockdown in March.

They warned the surge in cases was nation-wide rather than just the north which has already seen stricter measures imposed.

They also said the virus was now spreading from younger people to the more vulnerable older generation.

Professor Karol Sikora, one of the country’s top oncologists, lashed out at how authorities were allowing the news to be released before the official announcements.

He said: “I can fully understand the frustration and fury.

“We’ve got a whole new lockdown system apparently and yet no official word or details from the government.

“How must pub owners feel in those areas? Reading about their futures on Twitter without the full details. Not good enough.

“Can we go on like this for months, maybe longer? Arguments about the fundamental strategy aside – this is utter chaos.

“We all want policies to be based on science and data, communicated transparently.

“This isn’t happening. Trust I easy to lose and very difficult to get back.”

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