London to move into toughest tier of Covid restrictions as cases surge

Commuters walk along the Thames Path in view of Tower Bridge in London, U.K., on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020.

Hollie Adams | Bloomberg via Getty Images

LONDON — The U.K.’s capital city will be placed into England’s toughest tier of coronavirus restrictions from Wednesday, following a sharp rise in Covid-19 infection rates.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Monday confirmed the move as he addressed lawmakers in the House of Commons.

Earlier this month, the government imposed a three-tiered system of public health measures across England to try to curb the spread of the outbreak following a month-long lockdown.

Millions of people across the country were placed into “Tier 3” at the time — the highest alert level — but London was put into the second-highest tier of restrictions.

A nationwide review of the tiered-system had initially been scheduled for Dec. 16.

Alongside London, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire were also set to move into “Tier 3” from 00:01 London time on Wednesday.

Under Tier 3 restrictions, people cannot mix indoors, in private gardens or most outdoor venues. Shops, gyms and personal care services like hairdressers are allowed to stay open, but bars, pubs and restaurants must close except for takeaway.

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