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London faces new lockdown measures

London will move to tougher restrictions to fight the spread of COVID-19, with the city going from Tier 1 to Tier 2 restrictions on Saturday, local MPs have been told.The move will ban households mixing indoors but people will still be able to meet in groups of up to six outside and in hospitality venues.Londoners…

London will move to tougher restrictions to fight the spread of COVID-19, with the city going from Tier 1 to Tier 2 restrictions on Saturday, local MPs have been told.

The move will ban households mixing indoors but people will still be able to meet in groups of up to six outside and in hospitality venues.

Londoners will also be told to avoid public transport, while schools, universities and places of worship will remain open as well as offices and business venues.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined a new three tier system for the country this week, with regional restrictions to take place before a new national lockdown.

It divides areas into three levels: medium, high, and very high risk levels.

Under medium, people must follow the “rule of six” restricting gatherings to less than six people while pubs and restaurants will close at 10pm.

Under the high designation no household mixing indoors is added to this.

The very high level means there is no household mixing in public or private venues, along with further local restrictions that may be advised. Non-essential travel is also to be avoided.

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England’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to formally announce the decision on Thursday morning local time after 12 of London’s boroughs breached the threshold of 100 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.

Neighbouring county Essex could join the English capital in Tier 2 from this weekend.

Opposition Labour politicians are calling for a two-week “circuit breaker” to slow the spread of the virus across the country.

London’s Labour mayor Sadiq Khan said on Thursday: “The virus is spreading rapidly in every corner of our city

“Hospital admissions are up, more patients are going into intensive care units, and sadly the number of Londoners dying is increasing again.

“It’s my expectation that the Government will today announce that London will shortly be moving into Tier 2.

“This would mean different households not being able to mix indoors, nobody wants to see more restrictions. But this is deemed to be necessary to protect Londoners.”

“I believe we also need action on a national scale, just as the Government’s own scientific advisers have recommended.

“This is why I continue to call for a short national circuit breaker.”

It comes after several countries in Europe announced a second wave of restrictions to deal with spiralling virus cases including Spain, the Netherlands and France.

On Wednesday French president Emmanuel Macron ordered a nightime curfew for Paris and eight other French cities between 9pm and 6am for at least four weeks.

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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus.