Tougher new Tier 4 restrictions for London came into force from Sunday in an attempt to slow the spread of rising levels of Covid hospitalisations amid new evidence of a highly transmissible variant.
The plans, roughly equivalent to England’s lockdown in November, override the Prime Minister’s previous relaxation of the rules over the Christmas period, which allowed households to mix during a five day window.
Under the new restrictions:
- Residents in Tier 4 areas must stay at home, apart from limited exemptions.
- Non-essential retail, indoor gyms and leisure facilities, and personal care services must close.
- People should not enter or leave Tier 4 areas and residents must not stay overnight away from home.
- Individuals can only meet one person from another household in an outdoor public space.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “These further restrictions are a bitter blow for Londoners who were hoping to spend time with loved ones safely this Christmas, and for businesses who have already suffered so much this year.
“London faces its toughest Christmas since the war and the whole city will need to pull together to see us through this terrible period.”
With just 4 days before Christmas, residents across south west London have had to change their plans.
Battersea resident, Katy, 25, was planning to travel to her family home in Devon but is now staying in London over the festive period with her boyfriend.
She said: “I’m not angry that Christmas has been cancelled, I’m angry that I had hope that it wouldn’t be.
“If I’d had more notice, I would have got more food in; now there are long queues and crowds in supermarkets”.
Speaking about the enforcement of these regulations, Commander of the Metropolitan Police, Alex Murray, said: “Our fight against the virus is not over.
“If people ignore these new rules, make reckless decisions that risk lives, I make no apology for the subsequent enforcement action that will follow.”