Watch: Mayor Sadiq Khan warns London could move to Tier 3 if rules are not followed
This would see bars, restaurants and pubs having to operate as takeaways or facing closing their doors to customers.
Khan urged Londoners to stick to the rules because the longer the virus continues to spread “the longer the economy will suffer”.
He said on Sky News: “My message to Londoners is the best way to support the NHS is to stay safe, the best way to support businesses is to stay safe.
“It’s in nobody’s interest for us to go into Tier 3 so please carry on making the sacrifices you have.
“Nobody wants more shops going bust, more bars going bust, more theatres going bust and more pub going bust.
“It’s really important we support London by staying safe and following the rules.”
He insisted Tier 3 is not an inevitable fate for the capital and said with the good news of vaccines emerging, “we’ll kick ourselves if we go backwards over this Christmas period”.
Khan said more than 1,000 fixed penalty notices had been given out to people not following coronavirus rules on the Tube.
The government is due to review which areas are in which tiers on 16 December.
The mayor’s remarks came amid warnings from his spokesman earlier this week that a “devastating” surge in coronavirus cases could take place during winter if people don’t follow Tier 2 restrictions.
A total of 24 of London’s 32 boroughs saw increases in the rate of new COVID-19 cases in the seven days to 3 December.
Havering, in east London, had the highest infection rate in the capital, with 898 new cases recorded in that period.
That is the equivalent of 346 cases per 100,000 people, up from 268.5 per 100,000 in the seven days to 26 November.
Dr Mark Ansell, Havering Council’s director of public health, said the area’s rate was 379 infections per 100,000 people on Wednesday.
Asked if moving into the tougher Tier 3 restrictions would help the borough on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday, he said: “I think most of the transmission is in the home.
“I think the recent lockdown had a very minor and short-lived impact locally in terms of a lot of our residents are working in health and social care.
“A lot of them are self-employed or they are in small, medium-sized sort of enterprises, so they work, they need to work, and they need to keep working to maintain their financial viability.
“The work at home sort of message that has benefited some other parts of London doesn’t necessarily have a great impact in Havering and the measures need to be focused on the needs of the particular communities.”
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