Friday 18 September 2020 8:46 am

Coronavirus: London braced for tighter restrictions as cases surge

London could be on track for tighter restrictions on socialising and nights out amid reports official figures will show a surge in Covid-19 cases in the capital.

The number of cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period has risen from 18.8 to roughly 25, the Evening Standard reported.

Read more: No London coronavirus restrictions planned, says Downing Street

The sharp spike in new cases means the capital could be facing fresh rules limiting social contact or rolling out curfews for shops, bars and restaurants.

Official plans coordinating London’s pandemic response show the upcoming figures will activate so-called trigger points sparking a review of coronavirus measures.

The guidelines recommend that if infections keep rising harsher restrictions such as mandatory face masks and limiting social contact should be brought in, according to the report.

If the rate hits 50 cases per 100,000 then a local lockdown should be considered.

It comes a day after Downing Street denied it was planning new restrictions in London, but added that the issue would always be kept under review.

Meanwhile speculation is mounting that tighter rules could soon be rolled out nationwide in a bid to halt the recent rise in cases.

Top scientific advisers to the government have recommended a two-week national lockdown in October, according to media reports.

Measures being discussed include closing some pubs and restaurants or limiting opening hours. Schools and most workplaces would remain open.

Health secretary Matt Hancock this morning said a national lockdown would be a “last line of defence”, but said the government was “prepared to do it” if case numbers kept rising.

Read more: Coronavirus: Government dithering spikes huge fall in public approval ratings

He warned the infection rate was “accelerating” and urged people to follow social distancing guidelines and local lockdown rules.

“If we do all these things, we can avoid having to take serious further measures,” he told the BBC.

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