Government is reportedly discussing a local lockdown for the capital, closing bars and restaurants and banning mixing with other households.
If the emergency lockdown comes into play, bars, pubs and restaurants may be told to shut for two weeks. Meanwhile, socialising indoors with other households could be banned indefinitely. However, unlike the first lockdown, schools, shops and offices where workers are unable to work from home will remain open.
According to the Times, this plan was presented to the Cabinet’s COVID-19 strategy committee last week, even before the new restrictions were put in place. They were abandoned in favour of softer rules, which included the return to working from home, as well as a 10pm curfew for bars and restaurants.
Now, as the R rate continues to surge, both London and the North of England could face these emergency ‘circuit breaker’ plans. This follows Friday’s news that London had been added to the national COVID watchlist, which marked every London borough as an area of concern.
Speaking to the Times, a government source said: “The nation and the party weren’t ready for us to go any further last week. There wasn’t a wide enough understanding of how substantial the second wave could be.
“Tougher measures on social interaction will have to come though. They’re inevitable in some parts if you look at the numbers.”
Nothing is confirmed at the moment, but we’ll keep you updated with any news.
Also published on Medium.