An emergency social lockdown for London that would include an indefinite ban on households mixing indoors is reportedly being considered by the government.
The plan could also see a temporary two-week closure of social venues to help halt the spread of coronavirus, according to a report in The Times. Reportedly, shops would stay open, but hospitality venues such as restaurants, bars and pubs would close temporarily.
According to the newspaper, schools would still stay open, as would factories and offices where staff can't work from home. The same measures are being considered in the north of England, where there are also rising case numbers.
The measures were discussed by the government last week among other new restrictions, but were rejected at the time. ‘The nation and the party wasn’t ready for us to go any further last week,’ said a government source. ‘There wasn’t a wide enough understanding of how substantial the second wave could be.
‘Tougher measures on social interaction will have to come though. They’re inevitable in some parts if you look at the numbers,’ they added.
On Friday, London was added to a government ‘watchlist’, and changed status to become an area of national concern, due to the rise in active cases in the capital. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan described it as a ‘very worrying tipping point’.