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London is moving to the tightest COVID-19 restrictions

London is moving to the tightest COVID-19 restrictions

December 15, 2020:The U.K.’s capital city is about to move into the country’s highest level of coronavirus restrictions as cases continue to surge ahead of the holiday period.

On Monday, the government announced that London and its surrounding areas would move into the very high alert level of Tier 3.

Announcing the move in Parliament, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that a new variant of the virus is associated with the faster spread of infection in England’s southeast.

From Wednesday, pubs, cafes, and restaurants must be closed unless they offer takeout or delivery service, and entertainment venues and indoor entertainment venues, including theaters and cinemas, must shut.

Tier 3 restrictions will apply in London, Essex, and Hertfordshire’s parts from the beginning of Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

Some boroughs in the capital have seen the number of cases rise by over 40% up to December 9, and parts of nearby Essex have seen the number of infections surge by up to 78%.

The London weekly case rate at 225 per 100,000 people is already the country’s highest regional rate, the government said in a statement on Monday.

Nationwide, the U.K. is still in the grip of the second wave of infections, and different degrees of restrictions are in place around the country. A further 20,263 cases were reported in the U.K. on Monday, and 232 more fatalities from the virus, government data said.

It’s unknown how long the city will remain in Tier 3; much will depend on the infection rate in the next few weeks. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously said the tier system would be looked at and reviewed every 14 days.

The government advice states that if you live in a Tier 3 area, you should avoid traveling outside your room. That applies to international and domestic travel, but it is not a legal restriction.

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