Ealing has become London’s new Covid-19 hotspot, figures revealed today as it was confirmed that the capital is being thrust into a Tier Two lockdown from tomorrow night.
Government data shows the West London borough diagnosed 144.5 cases for every 100,000 residents in the week ending October 9, topping Richmond upon Thames (137.9).
The capital will face tighter Tier Two controls from midnight tomorrow after a deal was thrashed out with mayor Sadiq Khan.
It means that, as of Saturday, nine million people will be banned from mixing with other households indoors, including in bars and other venues. But socialising outdoors — including in pub and private gardens — will still be allowed within the Rule of Six.
It will come as a huge blow for the capital, which has been left in a fragile economic state following the blanket lockdown to control Covid-19 in the spring. Businesses have been left struggling to survive with fewer tourists and workers in offices.
The Mayor of London sought clarity on provisions made for businesses, support for vulnerable Londoners and test and trace efforts in the capital, including for those self-isolating.
‘Nobody wants to see more restrictions – but this is deemed to be necessary in order to protect Londoners lives by myself, London Council Leaders and by Ministers,’ Mr Khan said at City Hall today.
Sadiq Khan today warned that London faces a ‘difficult winter’ with Covid-19 rebounding in the city of 9million
Ealing’s seven-day rolling average number of weekly Covid-19 cases has jumped up to 144.5 per 100,000 people in the week ending October 9, from 132.5 just yesterday.
Some parts of the borough are significantly harder hit than others, according to the government’s dashboard.
For example, South Ealing’s infection rate currently stands at 293.6, Southall North’s is 274.3 and Elthorne Park’s is 295.3.
The Government coronavirus dashboard reveals the borough has moved up from the third spot to the top in one day, overtaking Richmond-upon-Thames and Hackney and City of London.
Thirteen boroughs now have infection rates over 100 per 100,000 people, the equivalent of one person in every 1,000 catching the coronavirus every week.
None of the 32 boroughs had tipped the threshold before this week, according to separate Public Health England data.
It comes as Mr Khan confirmed suspicions y that London would be moved into Tier 2. The decision was formally announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in the House of Commons this morning.
Speaking in City Hall this morning, he said: ‘It’s my expectation that the Government will today announce that London will shortly be moving into Tier 2, or the high alert level of restrictions.
‘I had a meeting this morning, with the Secretary of State for Health, as well as London leaders and scientific advisors. Final conversations with ministers are ongoing around this as we meet.
‘But I expect ministers to make an announcement to Parliament later this morning. This move is based on the expert public health and scientific advice for what is necessary to save lives in the capital.’
CASES: Government data shows how the number of coronavirus cases being diagnosed in London each day has risen since the start of the pandemic. It is impossible to accurately compare new daily infections with figures from the spring, when the government was barely testing any of the public for Covid-19
DEATHS: The number of deaths from Covid-19 in London are still nowhere near levels seen during the peak of the pandemic
HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS: An average of 44 people are being admitted to hospitals across London every day. This compared to lows of five at the start of August, and almost 750 at the start of April
Mr Khan said ‘hospital admissions are up, more patients are going to intensive care units, and sadly, the number of Londoners dying every day is increasing again’.
WHICH BOROUGHS HAVE MORE THAN 100 CASES PER 100,000?
Seven–day rolling rate of new cases by specimen date ending on October 9:
Richmond upon Thames: 137.9
Hackney and City of London: 131.0
Hammersmith and Fulham: 108.0
Kingston upon Thames: 105.9
And he warned city-dwellers: ‘We’re at a critical moment in our fight against Covid in London.
‘The virus is spreading rapidly in every corner of our city. We’ll soon reach an average of 100 cases per 100,000 people with a significant number of boroughs already over that threshold.’
Government data shows 1,722 people in London were given a positive test result on Wednesday. The seven-day rolling average, up to October 7, is 1,243.
The infection rate — the number of new cases in the week to October 9 for every 100,000 people — was 97.5, showing the capital is creeping closer to the 100 mark every day.
Reports say 100 cases per 100,000 people is considered one of the thresholds for an area being moved into Tier 2. But ministers are bound to take into consideration an array of different sets of statistics, including ones that show the speed of growth, hospitalisations and deaths.
Data shows hospitalisations for Covid-19 in London have barely risen over the past month, despite cases having increased. Almost 5,000 infected patients were being treated by NHS doctors during the darkest days of the first wave in April — but the figure currently stands at around 300.
It comes after Mr Khan said the ‘unique circumstances’ of the capital must be reflected in the approach and support given by the Government.
He said in his letter to Mr Johnson yesterday: ‘It is vital London has the resources to engage, explain, encourage and enforce heightened restriction and support compliance.
‘One London borough has done some specific work to estimate the cost of providing that service for six months from November onward and it is £300,000 over and above the allocation that was recently made to councils for support to compliance.
‘I am aware that these are discussions that have taken place with other areas that have had restrictions in place and London government would expect to have those discussions as well.’
He stressed once again this morning that ‘we need more financial support for London’s businesses, workers and public services as we face more restrictions and I’ll continue to make this case’.
‘I must warn Londoners they’ve got a difficult winter ahead. But just as we’ve always done throughout our city’s great history, I know we’ll get through this dark time by pulling together.
‘So I’d urge all Londoners to continue to follow the rules so we can support our NHS, save lives and protect our economy.’
This Apple mobility data map shows how requests for driving (red), public transport (purple) and walking (orange) have changed over the past ten months, based on a baseline of mid-January
This TomTom graphic shows traffic congestion levels in London over the past week. Levels during rush hour at 8am today were 71%, slightly up on 70% at the same time last week and 65% on the 2019 average level
Transport for London data shows how Tube and bus usage has been creeping up since plunging upon the lockdown in March
The Government’s new coronavirus data map reveals where cases are highest in the west London borough
The mayor has previously insisted London should move as a whole into higher restrictions despite variable rates across the capital as to avoid confusion.
Ealing (144.5), Richmond upon Thames (137.9), Redbridge (131.1), Hackney and City of London (131) and Harrow (123) have the highest infection rates, based on new cases in the week to October 9.
Greenwich (72.2), Bromley (71) and Bexley (64) have the lowest rates, showing nowhere in London has lower than 60 cases in every 100,000 people.
However, London’s figures appear to be being skewed upwards by the inclusion in the data of infected students studying in other cities.
WHAT ARE THE THREE TIERS?
- you must not socialise in groups larger than 6, indoors or outdoors
- certain businesses are required to ensure customers only consume food and drink while seated, and must close between 10pm and 5am
- businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is a take-out service
- places of worship remain open, subject to the rule of 6
- weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees
- exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors, or indoors with the rule of 6
- you must not socialise with anybody outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting
- you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden
- exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or for youth or disability sport
- you can continue to travel to venues or amenities that are open, for work or to access education, but should look to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
TIER 3/VERY HIGH:
- you must not socialise with anybody you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden
- you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park
- pubs and bars must close and can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant, which means serving substantial meals
- places of worship remain open, but household mixing is not permitted
- weddings (but not receptions) and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees
- you should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if you are resident in a very-high alert level area
In Richmond, the capital’s supposed hotspot, analysis shows that a quarter of positive cases in the borough since are actually in places including Manchester, Leeds, Exeter and Durham.
Of 212 cases recorded in Richmond since September 20, 49 were in other towns and cities.
The vast majority of these people were aged 17 to 21, suggesting they were students originally from London whose cases were recorded using their home address.
Mr Khan has urged for clarity on what provisions would be made available for businesses, warning that hundreds of thousands of jobs remain at risk in the capital.
He said it was ‘critical’ that the Government resolves the funding position of Transport for London (TfL), urging a package for the network.
As well as seeking clarity on support for vulnerable Londoners, the mayor called for an immediate increase to testing capacity, as well as a ‘redoubling’ of efforts to ensure testing for staff and residents.
‘I will continue to urge Londoners to be vigilant, follow the rules and exercise caution,’ he said in the letter.
‘I accept that these new measures will impact on businesses and Londoners, but we have a joint responsibility to work together and do what we can to control this virus and save lives.’
The mayor has previously insisted London should move as a whole into higher restrictions despite variable rates across the capital.
London Tory Mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey said Mr Khan was letting the city down. He said: ‘Sadiq Khan is failing London. A Mayor should stand up for his city.
‘A Mayor should be a champion for its businesses. Sadiq Khan is letting us down. We need to get London moving.’
Mr Khan and other London bosses are in support of a national two-week ‘circuit break’ lockdown across the whole of England to stem rising infections and to avoid, as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described it, ‘sleepwalking into a bleak winter’.
Sir Keir Starmer called for a two to three-week national lockdown while accusing the Prime Minister of ‘no longer following the scientific advice’.
The Labour leader’s intervention came after it emerged Boris Johnson dismissed a recommendation for the measure from Government scientists three weeks ago.
Mr Khan said this morning: ‘Given how far the virus has already been allowed to spread, and given the Government’s complete failure to get a working test, trace and isolate system in place, I believe we also need action on a national scale, just as the Government’s own scientific advisers have recommended.
‘That’s why I’ll continue to call for a short national circuit breaker. This could save thousands of lives, drive the virus down to manageable levels and give the Government more time to finally get a grip on its failing test and trace system.
‘In London, we experienced the worst of Covid-19 back in the spring. Thousands of lives were lost and our economy has been left reeling. We simply can’t afford for the Government to be slow to act again.’
Yesterday Nickie Aiken, MP for Cities of London and Westminster, seemed to agree lockdown was coming.
She said: ‘We need to deal with this nasty virus, but I’m asking the Mayor to respond calmly and proportionately for the sake of our jobs, our livelihoods and our mental health.
‘Sadly it now looks inevitable that London is going into further lockdown, the Mayor has been lobbying for this for some time, even before the infection rate was increasing.
‘Let’s be in no doubt going into Tier Two will be devastating for businesses and people’s lives in the Capital.
‘Now we need an urgent and clear plan to show how London can turn things around and reopen as soon as it’s right to do so.’