London lockdown restrictions 'increasingly likely', says Sadiq Khan

Mayor considering extra measures imposed in other parts of the UK

Sadiq Khan 'angry' over Government's handling of Covid testing, which he says is making the situation in London worse

Local lockdown restrictions are “increasingly likely” in London because of rising coronavirus cases,  the mayor has said.

Sadiq Khan admitted he was “extremely concerned” about the speed Covid-19 was spreading in the capital and suggested flaws in the testing system was making the situation worse."

He added that government and health officials will considering whether to impose similar measures to those applied in other parts of the UK. 

“This afternoon I held an emergency meeting with London council leaders, the Government and Public Health England to discuss the next steps,” the mayor said.

"It is increasingly likely that, in London, additional measures will soon be required to slow the spread of the virus. We will be considering some of the measures which have already been imposed in other parts of the UK.

"I am of the firm view that we should not wait, as happened six months ago, for this virus to again spiral out of control before taking action. 

“The best thing for both public health and the economy is new restrictions imposed early, rather than a full lockdown when it's too late - but the government must urgently ensure there is a fully functioning testing system.”

It comes after Boris Johnson said that the UK was now experiencing the start of a second wave of coronavirus, and further restrictions were announced for northern England and the Midlands.

The prime minister has refused to rule out imposing a short nationwide lockdown to try and stem the rise in cases. “We're watching it the whole time and as soon as we've got more to say, we'll be saying it." he added.

Mr Khan said he had seen evidence of the “accelerating speed at which Covid-19 is now spreading here in London”.

He added: “This is made worse by the uncertainty caused by the lack of testing capacity in the capital.”

The mayor also urged Londoners to play their part by following the “Rule of Six” regulations and other health advice.

“I strongly urge all Londoners to be as cautious as possible over this weekend," he said.

"Please think very carefully about your actions - strictly follow social distancing rules, regularly wash your hands and wear a face covering to help reduce the spread of the virus."

Additional reporting by Press Association

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