Lockdown 2.0: Londoners brace for closures as infection rates still climb

Commuters and shoppers walking across Millennium Bridge Photo: PA Media

Tower Hamlets residents are being urged to follow the new lockdown rules coming into force tomorrow, with the mayor warning that lives are at risk.

John Biggs said people living in the borough would “get through this together”, adding: “While these are tough times, the East End is even tougher. Our communities showed great resilience, courage and camaraderie during the first peak, and I have no doubt we will do so again.”

The Covid infection rate in Tower Hamlets crept up this week, taking it to sixth-highest in London, with 170.3 cases per 100,000, ten more cases than they had last week.

Philip Glanville, the mayor of Hackney, echoed Biggs’ comments. Speaking with the borough’s director of public health, Dr Sandra Husbands, he said: “Hackney has already suffered too many tragic losses this year, and we must not work together to keep to the national lockdown rules and prevent more.”

Hackney saw 152.3 cases per 100,00, down from 183.6 in the seven days to 22nd October – and has the eighth-highest infection rate in the capital.

Both boroughs are keen for residents with concerns to get in touch, with Hackney listing phone numbers for vulnerable residents, and links, on their site . Those in Tower Hamlets can find more information on their website.

Lewisham’s infection is also slightly down, with 306 new cases, compared with 309 in the previous seven days – leaving it with the least cases of all four boroughs. Details about how to get tested, and how to access information and support in the borough, can be found on the council’s website.

Croydon’s rate has rocketed, from 108.1 per 100,000 cases to 119.7, with 463 new cases this week. For those seeking help regarding Covid, details are on the council’s site.

This information is based on Public Health England data published on 22 October on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

As a result of the rising ‘R rate’, the UK prime minister Boris Johnson has announced plans to impose a nationwide lockdown across the country, following growing pressure from public health experts and the government’s scientific advisers. Johnson told MPs last night that without the new lockdown, the number of Covid-19 deaths would be twice as high as the first wave.

Pubs, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops will have to close for four weeks from Thursday, he said.

But unlike the restrictions in spring, schools, colleges and universities can stay open.

After 2 December, the restrictions would be eased and regions would go back to the tiered system, he said.

Mr Johnson said: “Christmas is going to be different this year, perhaps very different, but it’s my sincere hope and belief that by taking tough action now we can allow families across the country to be together.”

Londoners are also being asked to report serious breaches of restrictions via the 101 telephone system or using our online reporting system. 

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