London and Essex to go to 'Tier 2'

Johnson defends Covid-19 curbs as 'right responsible thing'

London will go back into coronavirus lockdown from midnight Friday, with household mixing banned

He said: "No one wants to see this, but it is necessary to protect Londoners", after warning cases would soon reach 100 per 100,000 people.

London will be moved into the "high" Covid-19 tier amid rising new infections.

Ministers are holding a series of talks with MPs from the regions affected by the changes ahead of Health Secretary Matt Hancock giving a Commons update on the measures.

As of Saturday, Londoners will be prohibited from mixing with other households in homes and other indoor settings, including hospitality venues, after the United Kingdom government agreed with London mayor Sadiq Khan that the city required tougher restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

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However, the scale of the COVID-19 crisis in London is still far below that of hotspots in the North and Midlands. "We simply can't afford for the government to be slow to act again", he said. He later said that the coronavirus was spreading rapidly "in every corner" of the city.

Ministers are now being briefed over the new measures in a call with Health Minister Helen Whately.

The ban on households mixing indoors could be devastating for the capital's 3,640 pubs and 7,556 restaurants - who will see business suffer but will not be eligible for United Kingdom government support available to premises which have been ordered to close. Hancock said that discussions remain ongoing about areas that need to be moved into this highest alert category.

Under Tier 2, households are also barred from mixing in pubs and restaurants. There is also guidance against travelling in and out of the area.

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Meanwhile, according to The Guardian, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to sign off on the harshest tier 3 Coronavirus measures for millions more people in the north of England later today.

Most of the country is on medium alert in Tier 1, which means areas are subject to the national restrictions now in force, including the rule of six on indoor and outdoor gatherings and 10 pm closing time for pubs, bars and restaurants.

As of Saturday, Londoners will be prohibited from mixing with other households in homes and other indoor settings.

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