Friday 16 October 2020 7:11 am

Friday Debate: Is the move to put London under Tier 2 restrictions unjustified?

Is the move to put London under Tier 2 restrictions unjustified? Join the debate

Luke Johnson, entrepreneur and chairman of Risk Capital Partners, says YES.

So the lockdown zealots have won, and London is to face yet more onerous restrictions on our civil liberties — even though hospital admissions for Covid-19 are roughly 90 per cent lower than their peak in March. 

The evidence for the effectiveness of such lockdowns is very weak, yet the politicians and scientists believe they can “control the virus” — which has never been possible with flu or the common cold.  

But the damage such oppressive measures have will be all too real. 

The fearmongering  will further harm fragile confidence. It is bound to accelerate job losses and business bankruptcies. It will inhibit investment and lower living standards. 

Unemployment leads to endless social ills, and a weaker economy is less able to afford the NHS and welfare spending. Civil unrest is likely to grow, as millions despair with the totalitarian intrusions by the government into everyday life — which we are told are “for our safety”. This is for a disease which has killed just 310 people in English hospitals under 60 without other serious illnesses — out of a total population of 56 million.

Our political leaders are standing on a burning platform, and trying to extinguish the fire with petrol.

Read more: London Tory MPs call for extra support for businesses facing Tier 2 restrictions

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, says NO.

I accept that these measures are now necessary to protect and safeguard Londoners.

Unfortunately, the government has completely lost control of coronavirus across vast swathes of the country. We simply cannot hide from the reality that the virus is now spreading rapidly in every part of our city, and sadly hospital admissions are steadily rising. Further restrictions in the capital are unavoidable.

However, I remain concerned as to how long the measures will be necessary unless the government radically and urgently reforms the test, trace and isolate system. If the government wants to regain the confidence of the public, in London and beyond, it must immediately outline the steps it will be taking to sort out test, trace and isolate.

With any new restrictions, it is also vital that the government must consider the financial needs of individuals and businesses across the capital and provide them with the necessary support. The further impact of these measures on Transport for London finances must also be fully compensated.

The rise in Covid cases across the capital means that Londoners must work together, accept these restrictions, and help save lives.

Read more: We’re heading from London lockdown to national breakdown

Main image credit: Getty


City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.