We are at a critical moment in our fight against COVID-19 in London. The virus is spreading rapidly in every corner of our city. Hospital admissions are rising and more Londoners are being admitted into Intensive Care Units. Time and again it has been shown that it is better to act earlier than to act too late – which would cost more lives and damage more livelihoods. I am not willing to put Londoners’ lives at risk and we must do all we can to minimise economic damage.
That is why, following discussions between me, ministers and our city’s senior health advisers and council leaders, the Government will move London into ‘Tier 2’ restrictions - which is alert level high - from Saturday 17 October.
Schools, universities and places of worship are still open. The restrictions on numbers at weddings and funerals still apply.
I know this is tough. These restrictions will require all Londoners to make yet more sacrifices. But the failure of the Government’s test, trace and isolate system means that these measures, based on public health and scientific experts’ advice, are absolutely necessary to protect Londoners’ lives.
I’m also acutely aware that these restrictions will have a significant impact on our city’s businesses. Our city experienced the worst of COVID-19 back in Spring, which meant our small businesses suffered and people’s livelihoods were at stake. It’s not a choice between saving the economy and saving people’s lives. The only way London’s businesses will be able to survive this crisis is if the Government takes the right measures to stop the spread of the virus now, and provides the full financial support needed to prop up the economy and protect jobs.
That’s why I am calling on the Government to come forward now with more financial support for affected businesses and Londoners struggling to get by.
I want to thank you for playing your part to help defeat this deadly virus. By following the rules, you are taking pressure off our incredible key workers and you are saving lives.
London is strong. We got through this before and I know we can get through this again, together.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan