Sadiq Khan has outlined a new lockdown plan for London.
The Mayor of London held an emergency meeting with council leaders and public health experts yesterday.
It was agreed that a “new London plan” including new lockdown measures to curb the spread of the virus should be introduced.
The measures include reduced opening hours for pubs and bars and extending the wearing of face masks on public transport and in shops to other public areas.
He also wants staff in hospitality venues to wear face masks too “where possible”.
The Mayor is also urging Londoners to work from home as much and avoid public transport “where possible” as cases grow.
The Labour politician also reportedly wants restrictions on numbers at weddings and funerals.
On the prospect of a curfew for restaurants and bars, he told Sky News: “The time does not matter. There is nothing magic about 10pm or 11pm.
“The issue is the amount of hours people are spending together where they could be asymptomatic and the virus passes on.
“By the way, none of this would be a problem if there was proper testing taking place.”
It’s understood Sadiq Khan is suggesting masks be worn in at least some public outdoor spaces as part of his plan.
It is thought the mask plan may focus only on crowded areas such as busy shopping streets, rather than all outdoor space in the capital.
However, details are yet to be confirmed and the wording in the plan is not yet concrete.
Mr Khan will speak with Boris Johnson tomorrow morning but is understood to have not been invited to Cobra with leaders of the devolved nations.
He says the capital has been left with “no choice” but to implement tougher measures due to ongoing issues with England’s contact tracing system.
“Without adequate testing or contact tracing in London we have no choice but to look at other measures to slow the spread of the virus,” Mr Khan said in a statement.
“I firmly believe that acting early, rather than having to impose more stringest measures later, is the right thing to do both for public health and the economy.
“I have just met with local council leaders from all parties and public health experts to agree a new London plan to slow the spread of the virus and save Londoners’ lives.
“This includes some new restrictions. We will collectively be asking the government to implement this plan as soon as possible and I will be discussing it with the Prime Minister tomorrow morning.”
It is not yet clear what the measures will include, though they are set to be discussed with the UK Government on Tuesday, with the Mayor saying he expected to be invited to the Government’s Tuesday Cobra meeting.
“I will be as clear as possible with Londoners about the full details and what it means for them as soon as it is agreed with Government,” Mr Khan added.
He also said he was “deeply frustrated”, like many Londoners, that new tougher restrictions are imminent but he said action now would prevent a more difficult lockdown in the future.
“Londoners have shown incredible resolve by steadfastly following the rules and doing the right thing – at great cost.
“However, taking firm action now to prevent a deeper and longer lockdown in the future is without a doubt the best thing to both save lives, and protect jobs and our economic recovery.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce tougher national lockdown rules on Tuesday.”