The Liberal Democrats’ London Mayor candidate has condemned the introduction of a Tier 2 lockdown in London.
Luisa Porritt, who was officially nominated on Tuesday, felt the lockdown doesn’t go far enough, and has stressed the need for greater financial support for affected businesses.
The introduction of Tier 2 restriction means that, on top of current measures, household mixing in indoor settings will be banned, and is widely considered to be detrimental to pubs, restaurants and other indoor social settings.
Porritt said: “Tier 2 restrictions are a bit of a halfway house, because they have the financial effect of a lockdown without the compensation.
“I’ve been talking to local people and it’s clear that a lot of pubs and restaurants are worried because they’ve already had a period of full lockdown that has hit their margins.
“Now, in this period of reopening, the 10pm curfew has caused further damage to our pubs and restaurants, hitting their margins further, and if there’s a further lockdown then we could see this businesses go under.
“It is essential that there is support for the businesses and livelihoods that will be affected as a consequence of this decision.”
She has called for short-term ‘circuit breaker’ restrictions, which would see the whole country be temporarily reinstated into a full lockdown.
She explained: “The circuit breaker we are calling for would have financial compensation for affected businesses.
“We’ve just heard that the unemployment rate has risen, which applies to London, so if we need further restrictions then it is absolutely essential that there is financial support available to go beside that.”
Porritt believes more power should be given to local leaders when implementing restrictions.
She added: “They know their communities and they know what’s happening on the ground. They also have close relationships with the NHS on the ground for implementing the decisions that the government are making.
“It isn’t fair on the local authorities and local police forces to have to respond to these announcements without being consulted.
“However, I don’t think borough-level lockdowns are appropriate for a city like London which is so interconnected, even in a lockdown situation.”
She also appealed for the current 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants to be scrapped.
She said: “The evidence shows that very little of the infection rate comes from that sector. Having people leave pubs and restaurants all at the same time, and moving onto public transport at the same time, increases the risk from a public health point of view. It’s not just what we do in the short term, it’s what we do next that’s really critical.”
Porritt also tweeted a statement on the issue.
London officially enters Tier 2 restrictions at midnight tonight.
Featured image credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS | Credit: AFP via Getty Images