Again infections in London and the South East have been on the sharp rise so that London now is moving to ‘Tier 3’ status, the number of cases in London is at 270 per 100,000 people.
The numbers are rising all over Europe again. Germany is going back into lockdown. The vaccine might feel like our holy grail. However, it’s important to be sensible right now and look after ourselves, as well as one another.
London infection rates among highest in UK
Matt Hancock led the national briefing tonight, announcing that London would move into Tier 3 – High Alert on Wednesday morning. London seems to be divided into boroughs, but we all from Wednesday morning will move into a higher risk tier. The Government are spending a lot on media right now to make everyone aware of this risk. This latest change will affect more than 34 million people in England.
“This is a pivotal moment for London and the South-East”
Latest tier three areas include:
The south and west of Essex (Basildon, Brentwood, Harlow, Epping Forest, Castle Point, Rochford, Maldon, Braintree and Chelmsford, along with Thurrock and Southend-On-Sea borough councils)
The south of Hertfordshire (Broxbourne, Hertsmere, Watford and the Three Rivers local authority)
Saddiq Khan has been urging the Government not to move London into Tier 3 as it has such an impact on the economy, before Christmas. Pubs and restaurants have only just been allowed to open. However, even he has acknowledged that the virus is spreading again and we need to be careful.
“London will go into Tier 3 from 00:01 on Wednesday. We all wanted to avoid this situation – our city’s businesses have suffered so much already this year. But it’s clear the virus is accelerating once again and the lives of vulnerable Londoners are at risk.”
Shutting down London will be a devastating blow to the hospitality and entertainment industries who have had very little notice to prepare. All of the food and drink which has been bought in, given that people could only order alcohol with a substantial meal, will now perish and go to waste. Whilst we all want to get rid of this virus as quickly as possible, surely the Government can offer some stability during this crisis?
Rates doubling every 7 days
Listening to Matt Hancock tonight, the rate in which COVID is increasing is high, but the occupied beds in hospitals have increased even further. In Hancock’s words, “This isn’t over yet”.
However, you can see friends and family you do not live with (or do not have a support bubble with) in some outdoor public places, in a group of up to 6. This limit of 6 includes children of any age.
These outdoor public places include:
parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
the grounds of a heritage site
outdoor sports courts and facilities
You can continue to meet in a group larger than 6 if you are all from the same household or support bubble, or another legal exemption applies.
Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha bars), pubs, cafes, restaurants, and social clubs must close except for takeaway, delivery and click and collect services. This includes restaurants and bars within hotels or member’s clubs. Exemptions apply.