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No 10 gives Covid Christmas shopping warning with London on the verge of tier 3 after spike in cases


Christmas shoppers were warned by Downing Street on Friday to be cautious as London was close to moving into Tier 3 amid an increase in coronavirus cases.

The fall rate per 100,000 inhabitants of the capital was 191.8 on December 6, compared to 158.1 in the previous week.

This means that London is ahead of regions like the West Midlands that already have Tier 3 restrictions.

But before the likely big shopping weekend on Saturday and Sunday, with Christmas two weeks ago, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman urged buyers to be careful.

When asked by MailOnline whether shoppers should be careful on the high street, he said "absolutely".

Health Secretary Matt Hancock had indicated earlier on Friday that Tier 3 measures would come for London when he pointed to the increasing cases in the capital and urged people to continue to obey the rules and not "cross the line".

It came as the UK's daily coronavirus cases increased 33 percent on Friday compared to seven days ago. A total of 21,672 new cases have been announced, a slight increase from 20,964 yesterday.

Christmas shoppers were warned by Downing Street on Friday to be cautious as London was close to moving into Tier 3 amid an increase in coronavirus cases. Pictured: Christmas shoppers on Oxford Street on Friday

Mr Johnson's spokesman urged the public to follow the safety guidelines, saying, “I think we have been clear throughout the pandemic.

"We urge the public to follow the guidelines in relation to their activities to ensure we can further reduce the transmission rate and protect communities."

However, he stopped telling buyers to avoid busy times.

"I wouldn't go into the discussions to tell people how to shop, but I would just repeat what we would say to make sure people are following the guidelines in place," he said.

The warning came after hospitality leaders said moving London to Tier 3 restrictions – which would require pubs and restaurants to close – would have "devastating effects".

A decision on whether to move the capital to Tier 3 will be made on December 16.

The fall rate per 100,000 inhabitants of the capital was 191.8 on December 6, compared to 158.1 in the previous week

The fall rate per 100,000 inhabitants of the capital was 191.8 on December 6, compared to 158.1 in the previous week

Weekly data from Public Health England shows that in many areas in London, east and south-east, infection rates have increased since the lockdown ended and Tier 3 rules could apply from next week

Weekly data from Public Health England shows that in many areas in London, east and south-east, infection rates have increased since the lockdown ended and Tier 3 rules could apply from next week

Teenagers were blamed for the huge surge in cases, which led to a mass testing program being introduced in secondary schools in the hardest hit districts.

MPs were instructed on Thursday evening to "expect the worst" after a PHE surveillance poll found the capital now has the highest rate of coronavirus infections in England.

It is believed that many MPs representing constituencies in the capital are ready to campaign for Tier 2 with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

They believe mortality rates in London are comparatively low and the NHS can handle it.

A move to Tier 3 would be devastating for the pubs, restaurants and shopping sectors, especially so soon after the second national lockdown.

Tier 3 would "destroy" London's bars and restaurants

The government was warned on Friday to ponder the "devastating effects" of coronavirus restrictions on the hospitality industry as London was on the verge of Tier 3.

Teenagers were blamed for the huge surge in cases, which led to a mass testing program being introduced in secondary schools in the hardest hit districts.

MPs were instructed on Thursday evening to "expect the worst" after a PHE surveillance poll found the capital now has the highest rate of coronavirus infections in England.

It is believed that many MPs representing constituencies in the capital are ready to campaign for Tier 2 with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

They believe mortality rates in London are comparatively low and the NHS can handle it.

A move to Tier 3 would be devastating for the pubs, restaurants and shopping sectors, especially so soon after the second national lockdown.

Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality's Chief Executive, said, “The impact of the restrictions on the hospitality industry has been so severe that the country's economic growth has effectively halved. Our sector is the only sector that is experiencing really negative growth.

& # 39; The constraints that are placed on us are devastating and go far beyond anything that can be experienced in other sectors. The scary reality is that those numbers will look tame compared to those for November and December when the lockdown was in place and the new, tougher animal system started to bite.

Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality's Chief Executive, said, “The impact of the restrictions on the hospitality industry has been so severe that the country's economic growth has effectively halved. Our sector is the only sector that is experiencing really negative growth.

& # 39; The constraints that are placed on us are devastating and go far beyond anything that can be experienced in other sectors.

The scary reality is that those numbers will look tame compared to those for November and December when the lockdown was in place and the new, tougher animal system started to bite.

"The government needs to carefully examine these numbers before deciding to move more areas to higher plains, the burden of which is almost entirely the hospitality industry."

Covid-19 cases rose in 28 of London's 32 boroughs in the past seven days, with Havering having the highest incidence at 389 infections per 100,000 people.

It is followed by Barking and Dagenham at 319.9 and Waltham Forest at 313.7.

Last week, cases were fastest in Hackney – from 129.62 to 195.98 (51 percent) – and northern Enfield counties (163.57 to 243.56) and Haringey (141.08 to 208.82 ).

Essex also appears to be on the verge of a Tier 3 lockdown, with the nationwide infection rate rising by a third from 145.31 to 195.14 in the past week.

In a joint statement with the chairman of Westminster City Council, London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged shoppers to work together to control the spread of Covid-19 by wearing face masks and observing social distancing.

They said, “With cases increasing in many parts of the capital, it is important that we all work together to control the spread. Otherwise, we could face tighter restrictions that would do great harm to businesses in the West End, our hospitality sector and the entire London economy.

“We are addressing the Londoners directly. When you go shopping, it is essential to follow the rules.

“You have to wear face covering in shops and keep a distance of two meters wherever possible.

“We have worked to secure the West End COVID with wider walkways – including car-free Regent Street on Saturdays – and with regular signage so Londoners can keep their distance.

Mr Hancock questioned the threat of stricter restrictions on the capital on Friday in the face of looming cases.

"My message to everyone in London is 'let's follow the rules' and don't go beyond the limits of the rules, but try to limit the spread of this infection as the number of cases is increasing in parts of London, parts of Essex, and parts of Kent, and we know what happens when the number of cases increases, unfortunately more people end up in the hospital and more people die, ”he told LBC Radio.

MailOnline's analysis of government numbers shows that because of its size, London is currently registering more cases per day than 27 out of 61 authorities currently living under Tier 3 curbs, including Nottingham, Leeds, Leicestershire, Bristol, Newcastle and Derby

MailOnline's analysis of government numbers shows that because of its size, London is currently registering more cases per day than 27 out of 61 authorities currently living under Tier 3 curbs, including Nottingham, Leeds, Leicestershire, Bristol, Newcastle and Derby

And data from the Covid Symptom Study app, which collects unofficial reports of test results and symptoms, estimates that other Tier Two areas including Berkshire, Wiltshire and Suffolk have cases ahead of next week's crunch decisions on the rise

And data from the Covid Symptom Study app, which collects unofficial reports of test results and symptoms, estimates that other Tier Two areas including Berkshire, Wiltshire and Suffolk have cases ahead of next week's crunch decisions on the rise

"So we have to stick with it and suppress this virus while we get the roll-out (of the vaccine) underway."

"So my message to everyone in London is:" Please respect the restrictions, respect what to do, protect yourself, your family, your community and your city. "

When asked if London could step up BBC Radio 4's Today broadcast, he said, “This is an incredibly important moment on the way out of this pandemic, but we still have a march to go this winter.

“People must continue to obey the rules and try to live in such a way that when they are infected with the virus, as few people as possible are infected. There are increasing cases in parts of Essex, parts of Kent and especially parts of London and we need to keep that under control.

“The whole strategy has been to quell the virus, protect the economy, education and the NHS until a vaccine can make us safe.

"This strategy clearly works because a vaccine is able to protect us, but suppressing the virus bit is still absolutely critical."

Boris Johnson urged the British to obey the rules during a visit to London's Guy & # 39; s Hospital, where Pfizer / BioNTech's push was issued today. He said, “We are not there yet, we have not yet defeated this virus.

“It is very important for people to understand that unfortunately the virus is still increasing in some parts of the country. It is rising in London, for example.

“We've cut it down enormously (cases) because of the actions we took in November that have just been completed. The people tried very hard. & # 39;

Mr Johnson described the start of mass vaccine adoption as a "shot in the arm for a nation" but warned, "We cannot afford to relax now."

Professor Kevin Fenton, London Regional Director of Public Health in England, said: “The latest data shows that case rates are rising again in most of London's boroughs, including those at risk over 60.

SAGE, Number 10's Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies, estimates the R-Number is between 0.9 and 1.0 across the UK, after rising from 0.8 to 1.0 a week ago

SAGE, Number 10's Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies, estimates the R-Number is between 0.9 and 1.0 across the UK, after rising from 0.8 to 1.0 a week ago

“Covid-19 acts like clockwork – the more contact we have with others, the more likely we are to catch or spread the virus. If we are to keep infections low, each of us must remain vigilant and follow the rules when shopping, eating, or meeting friends outdoors.

"We have to work together to prevent a huge surge in cases in London before Christmas. So we must all do our part and limit the spread in the coming days and weeks."

"We can do this by sticking to the rules, remembering the basics of 'hands, face, space', and getting tested and isolated at home if we have any symptoms."

And amid fears that London might move into Tier 3, which would destroy the capital's businesses, economic pressure was heightened by news that the value of the pound was its biggest daily decline since warnings of a possible no-deal Brexit Months.

The value of the pound fell from $ 1.3177 from $ 1.3293 at the last close, a decline of 0.9 percent.

The euro was now at £ 0.9167 compared to £ 0.9116 yesterday.

The drop is the biggest in three months and a good drop as the Brexit deal deadline approaches.

The crisis came hours after the Prime Minister warned of a "strong possibility" of a no-deal Brexit because no agreement could be reached with the EU.

Mr Johnson's spokesman urged the public to follow the safety guidelines, saying, “I think we have been clear throughout the pandemic

Mr Johnson's spokesman urged the public to follow the safety guidelines, saying, “I think we have been clear throughout the pandemic

(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Boris Johnson (t) Coronavirus (t) Downing Street (t) London