London is to be formally moved up to the second tier of coronavirus restrictions later this week, a decision backed by the mayor, Sadiq Khan, but which prompted protests from a number of Conservative MPs in the capital.
London, Essex and Elmbridge in Surrey are among a series of districts moved into the “high risk” section of the three-level system, Matt Hancock, the health secretary, told the Commons.
London MPs were told about the decision in advance of Hancock’s statement in a conference call on Thursday morning. The changes mean people must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place. People should also aim to avoid public transport.
Schools, universities and places of worship can remain open and all businesses can continue to operate with Covid-secure measures, though the measure is likely to significantly affect more than 3,000 pubs and 7,000 restaurants across London.