Sadiq Khan begs Londoners not to 'go backwards' over Christmas amid Tier 3 fears

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·News Reporter
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Watch: Mayor Sadiq Khan warns London could move to Tier 3 if rules are not followed

Obey the rules or risk your city going into Tier 3 restrictions, London mayor Sadiq Khan has urged.

As infection rates climb in two thirds of the capital’s boroughs, speculation has mounted that London could be plunged into the highest bracket of anti-COVID measures.

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”.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan makes a statement to media at New Scotland Yard on September 25, 2020 in London, England. A murder investigation has been launched following the death of a police officer at the Croydon Custody Centre in south London. He was shot by a 23-year-old man who was also treated for a gunshot wound. The officer died later in hospital. The death will be investigated by the  Independent Office for Police Conduct. (Photo by Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Sadiq Khan urged Londoners to stick to the rules. (Getty Images)

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.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: Shoppers and commuters around Oxford Street on October 13, 2020 in London, England. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said today that the city would move into Tier 2 of the government's new covid-19 risk classification once it hits 100 new daily cases per 100,000 people, which could happen this week. The second or "high" tier of the three-tier system triggers a ban on household mixing, although pubs would remain open. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Speculation has risen that London could be put into tougher coronavirus restrictions. (Getty Images)

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.

An NHS Covid alert level sign in Ealing, London, after Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that London will be moved to Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions from midnight on Friday. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
London is in Tier 2. (PA Images via Getty Images)

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.

Read more
The Tier 3 COVID lockdown rules explained
The Tier 2 COVID lockdown rules explained

“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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