Moment revelers are flocking to the streets and partying in Leicester Square as pubs and bars close at 10 p.m. under Covid restrictions – under Sadiq Khan's warning that the capital will be "inevitably" closed
- Crowds danced in the street in Leicester Square on Friday
- Just hours after Sadiq Khan said that stricter measures were "inevitable"
- Two police officers circle the crowd and are confronted with boos
- The infection rate in London is only 59 per 100,000 people, just like the UK
Shocking footage showed revelers taking to the streets and partying in Leicester Square after pubs and bars nearby closed as part of the curfew at 10 p.m.
Just hours after Sadiq Khan said stricter lockdown measures were "inevitable", crowds gathered in the capital.
Footage captured last night showed groups of men and women dancing in front of the Global Radio Company, based in Leicester Square.
Revelers could hear music sing along as they gathered around a street musician who was playing the drums.
Although bars and pubs had to close at 10pm, music could be heard over a loudspeaker, which drew the attention of visitors to the London landmark.
On Friday evening, crowds from pubs and bars gathered near Leicester Square without paying any attention to social distancing
Two policemen circled the crowd before wading in to be confronted with boos and ridicule from the crowd.
Moments later you can see the two officers leaving.
Shocked viewers on Twitter asked, "When will people realize they are making things worse?"
The scenes in Leicester Square came just hours after Sadiq Khan warned of tougher lockdown measures in London as data showed that Richmond-upon-Thames has become the capital's new Covid-19 hotspot.
To the left of the crowd, two police officers can be seen booing after trying to interrupt the crowd
Within seconds of approaching the crowd, both officers could be seen walking away and being cheered by some of the crowd – just hours after Sadiq Khan said London lockdown measures were "inevitable".
The Mayor of London said new restrictions would be imposed across the city rather than in individual districts because "it is the most effective way to reduce the spread of this virus".
Mr Khan said his best guess is that London would be hit by new rules sometime next week when the government officially unveils its three-tier traffic light system for local lockdowns.
He warned it was important to contain the spread of the virus in the city before the pandemic reaches the levels we saw in March and April.
Sadiq Khan said his best guess was that London would face new rules sometime next week
London's Covid-19 infection rate is lower than most parts of the UK but continues to rise
However, figures show that the infection rate in London is only 59 per 100,000 people. This is equivalent to the infection rate in the UK and a fraction of the hotspot rate in the north, where it is 550 per 100,000.
Mr. Khan told LBC Radio today, “I expect more restrictions will be put in place as we don't want to see in October and November what we saw in March and April.
"I understand that there will inevitably be additional restrictions in London. What we are discussing as 'One London' is, in our opinion, the right level and we should work with the government to make sure we are at the right level there. "
Richmond-upon-Thames is London's new Covid-19 hotspot. Data has shown the capital's eruption is just four weeks behind the troubled northwest. The infection rates in London are shown in the week leading up to October 5th
Infection rates seem to be increasing across London and reaching higher levels in the west. The infection rates in London in the week ending September 28 are shown
For the first part of the pandemic, poorer parts of London like Newham and Brent were hit even worse by Covid-19. Scientists believe this is due to residents who live in overcrowded homes where the disease spreads and are key workers unable to shelter at home.
But now Covid-19 is hitting the wealthier boroughs of London, with Westminster, Wandsworth, Bromley and Hammersmith and Fulham now seeing infection rates well in excess of 50 per 100,000.
A statistical report released by the government last month found that coronavirus infections are rising twice as fast in the wealthiest districts of England – especially in white, affluent under 35s.
The outbreak in London as a whole is now showing signs of an acceleration of the crisis in the North West, the worst hit part of England where the cities of Manchester, Liverpool and Blackpool are currently battling some of the largest Covid-19 outbreaks.
HOW FAR BEHIND LONDON FROM THE NORTH WEST?
The data shows how the infection rate in London and the North West has increased each week between July 5th and October 4th.