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London to move to tighter Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions

London is to move to tighter 'Tier 2' coronavirus restrictions at midnight on Friday.

The announcement was made to MPs from the capital by Faversham and Mid Kent MP and care minister Helen Whately.

It means household mixing indoors is banned, so many families from Kent will no longer be able to travel up to see relatives in their homes.

Tier 2 is the middle level and means there is a 'high risk' of Covid-19.

Under new rules set out by Boris Johnson on Monday those in any of the city's boroughs, including Bromley and Bexley , cannot meet in their homes or venues like pubs and restaurants unless they are part of the same 'support bubble'.

People are advised to avoid public transport but no schools or businesses will be forced to close.

The 'Rule of Six' will continue to apply outdoors, meaning households can mix in parks, while the 10pm curfew on hospitality venues will remain in place.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan
London Mayor Sadiq Khan

MPs have been told cases are doubling every seven to 10 days in the city.

Labour mayor Sadiq Khan has been calling for stricter measures in the capital for weeks after cases in some boroughs began to spike.

He said: "No one wants to see this, but it is necessary to protect Londoners," after warning cases would soon reach 100 per 100,000 people.

He also called for a national 'circuit breaker' lockdown in order to stop the spread of the virus and allow the government more time to sort out the test and trace system, which is considered crucial to overcoming coronavirus but has been plagued by problems.

He added he expected the government to formally announce the new measures for London later today.

Dartford council leader Jeremy Kite speaks to KMTV

The Mayor said it was false to suggest saving lives would impact the economy as restrictions on freedoms now would mean the impact on the economy will be less severe later.

Essex will also move into Tier 2.

Meanwhile Manchester is braced to join Liverpool in Tier 3 - meaning the area would be considered 'very high risk'. But there are reports of clashes between local politicians and the government on new restrictions.

It would mean pubs not serving food would close, they would be a ban on household mixing in all settings and people would be advised against travelling to other areas.

While Kent is considered 'medium risk' (Tier 1) and while cases are increasingly rapidly in Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells it is not expected the county will move to a new tier in the immediate future.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

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