Sadiq Khan confronted with footage of packed central London as capital risks Tier 3 rules

Sadiq Khan gets confronted about busy London streets

The London Mayor was shown images of a busy Oxford Street by Sky News on Thursday as he urged Londoners to stick to the rules to avoid the capital being put under Tier 3 restrictions before Christmas. Sadiq Khan claimed the new restrictions, which could come in place as soon as next week after the Government’s review of the tier system on December 16th, would only serve to make the hospitality industry suffer more. 

In a bid to defend Londoners after he was shown the shocking footage, Mr Khan said: “We’re all encouraging people to, of course, support our businesses that have struggled over the last few months.

“But do it safely, shop safely, shop local.

“But it’s very important to follow the rules.

“Many, many Londoners are doing the right thing, they’re wearing face masks, they’re carrying hand sanitisers, they’re avoiding public transport during rush hour.

“It’s inevitable there will be some mixing and mingling.

“That’s why if you’re symptomatic, get a test to see whether you are, keep your distance from others, self-isolate.

“It’s really important we don’t undo all the gains we made, particularly as we can see light at the end of the tunnel with a new vaccine.

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“We’ll kick ourselves if we go backwards over this Christmas period.”

Dr Mark Ansell, Havering Council’s director of public health, said the national lockdown had a “very minor and short-lived impact” on transmission in the borough.

“Our rates were 379 per 100,000 yesterday, so that is double the London average, which itself is higher than the England average,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“So, very much aware of the seriousness of our situation.”

He said the highest rates were among working-age adults but he warned the rate among older residents was rising.

On whether imposing Tier 3 restrictions on London would drive down transmission in the borough, Dr Ansell said: “I think most of the transmission is in the home.

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“I think the recent lockdown had a very minor and short-lived impact locally in terms of a lot of our residents are working in health and social care.

“A lot of them are self-employed or they are in small, medium-sized sort of enterprises, so they work, they need to work, and they need to keep working to maintain their financial viability.”

He added: “The work at home sort of message that has benefited some other parts of London doesn’t necessarily have a great impact in Havering and the measures need to be focused on the needs of the particular communities.”

Echoing his comments, Professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia Paul Hunter said: “It is difficult across London as London is a very diverse city.

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“The issues are not consistent across the country or indeed across the capital.”

He added: “Although most transmission may be happening at home what is driving the epidemic is how that infection jumps from one home to another.

“If it was just at home it would die out quite quickly at the epidemic.

“To the certain extent that is all you can control because it is very difficult to control transmission within homes.”

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