Hammersmith and Fulham council leader calls for short “circuit-breaker” lockdown to stop the rise of coronavirus cases

By Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter

West London politicians have said the capital needs “a circuit breaker” in a bid to stop the virus getting out of hand and bringing tragedy with it this winter.

Hammersmith and Fulham council leader Stephen Cowan said the move to Tier 2 on Saturday was sadly welcome.

But he added: “We need a circuit breaker lockdown if we’re to stop the exponential rise in Covid-19 cases that we’re currently seeing.”

The move to raise London from Tier 1 (medium risk) to Tier 2 (high risk) comes as the rate of infection in many areas is exceeding 100 cases per 100,000 of the population.

Councillor Cowan said: “London is facing a very challenging winter as the virus is on course to kill more people, wreck more businesses, and crash our economy.

“A circuit breaker will significantly curtail that trajectory.

“We need everyone to make sure we do everything necessary to stop this virus in its tracks.”

He reminded people that the rules meant “always wearing a mask when moving about in pubs, restaurants, supermarkets, and shops.

“And we need business owners to fully enforce that when people are in their premises.

“Keeping a two-metre distance from others is vitally important, as is washing hands and carrying sanitiser.

“I know it’s tough – but if we all do our bit, we’ll get through this quicker and safer.”

And he called for financial help for all affected employees and businesses.

“We need to help everyone get through this.” he said.

Andrew Brown, the Conservative opposition leader, said: “It is sadly inevitable that London has had to go into Tier 2 lockdown.

“Covid has undoubtedly had an unprecedented impact on our borough, its residents and businesses, and that will unfortunately continue until the virus has been brought under control.

“It’s however important that we recognise the non-Covid healthcare issues and huge impact that restrictions have on the ability for people to live their lives and businesses to keep going.”

Under Tier 2 rules people must not mix with other households or bubbles indoors.

The rule of six still applies outdoors, including in pub gardens, and people are being urged to reduce the number of journeys they make.

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