London added to national coronavirus watchlist


London has been added to the national coronavirus watchlist as an are of greatest concern, as infections rise in the capital.

There will be no new restrictions at present, but the change in status reflects higher risks in the city.

But it means the city could face a local lockdown if cases continue to climb. There were 620 infections confirmed in the last 24 hours.

London Councils – the group representing all 33 local authorities in the city – said it was a “stark reminder” to residents that they must follow new rules.

The organisation called for a sustained boost to Covid-19 testing in the capital so infections can be monitored.

Green London Assembly member Caroline Russell said it was “disgraceful” that capacity has been insufficient.

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“We can get through this, wearing our masks and keeping our distance but oh for some government competence,” she said in a Tweet.

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on Wednesday:

  • Pubs, bars, and restaurants have a 10pm curfew.
  • Only table service is allowed.
  • Taxi drivers, waiters, bar staff and shop workers have to wear a mask.
  • Only 15 people can attend a wedding, down from 30.
  • Plans for fans to go back to sports matches are on hold.

People cannot meet with those outside their social bubble in groups of more than six.

Social distancing rules remain in place: everyone should stay two metres from others outside their household bubble, or use mitigations to reduce the risk, like keeping contact short and wearing a face mask.

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