London will have additional restrictions to contain the pandemic covid-19, and the socialization between different families in indoor spaces will be banned from Saturday, indicated the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
The mayor said there were still talks with the government on the details, but the British press said that Health Minister Matt Hancock was due to make the official announcement this morning.
Khan, who has been calling for more restrictions for the British capital for several weeks, justified that this decision is based on the recommendation of experts to try to save lives, taking into account the growing number of cases of infection and hospitalizations.
“Nobody wants more restrictions, but this is considered necessary to protect Londoners,” he said, in a statement at the city council.
The measure is expected to affect almost nine million inhabitants in the city of London, which will move to the second level on a scale of three of the new system of restrictions, which prohibits socialization between people who are not part of the same household in closed spaces, whether at home or in public places.
The highest alert level, which for now only applies to Liverpool, but which the Government wants to extend to Manchester and Lancashire, also requires the closure of ‘pubs’ and bars that do not serve meals and recommends people not to enter or leave these areas with greater restrictions.
Sadiq Khan also reiterated his support for a national confinement of two to three weeks to reduce the rate of transmission of the virus and pressure on health services.
“The truth is that the health crisis and the economic crisis are closely linked and that is why having the coronavirus under control will protect both lives and the economy”, he defended.
Most of England is at the lowest level of this scale of restrictions, which prohibits gatherings with more than six people and the closing of bars and restaurants at 10:00 pm.
The biggest outbreaks of infections are being recorded in the north and center of the country, while other regions of the United Kingdom, namely Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, have different types of rules and restrictions in place.
Northern Ireland announced a temporary confinement on Wednesday, including the closure of schools for two weeks from Monday, while from Friday, bars and restaurants can only serve outside.
In Scotland, the bars and restaurants in the Glasgow and Edinburgh areas are closed until 25 October, and the head of Wales’ self-government, Mark Drakeford, said today that he is considering “temporary confinement” very seriously.
The United Kingdom is the European country and the fifth in the world, behind the USA, Brazil, India and Mexico, with the highest number of covid-19 deaths, accounting for 43,155 confirmed by test and 57,690 when including the suspected cases whose certificates of death refer to the new coronavirus.
The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than one million and eighty-seven thousand deaths and more than 38.2 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report made by the French agency AFP.
In Portugal, 2,117 people died from 91,193 confirmed cases of infection, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, a city in central China.