An NHS trust that runs three major London hospitals in central and East London has said it is treating 318 patients who have Covid-19.
It comes as the Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that London will be placed in Tier 3 restrictions from 12am on Wednesday morning.
Mr Hancock said it was important to stop the spread of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed with patients.
Barts Health NHS Trust includes Bart’s Hospital in the City of London, the Royal London in Whitechapel and Whipps Cross in Leytonstone.
It confirmed that 78 of those 318 Covid patients are in intensive care.
The three hospitals have a combined intensive care capacity for 195 patients, after recently opening a new bespoke unit at the Royal London Hospital.
This contrasts with September 29, when the Trust’s hospitals were caring for 43 patients with Covid, of whom 10 were in intensive care.
The Tier 3 “very high alert” level means that restaurants and pubs will have to switch to takeaway service only.
It also means that you may only see people from other households or from outside your support bubble in open-air settings such as parks. But this does not allow people to socialise in private gardens or pub gardens.
Gyms, salons and barbers will continue to stay open.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Hancock said people from outside Tier 3 areas should be discouraged from visiting central London for activities such as Christmas shopping.