Cyclists ride a cycle path along the causeway in central London on May 16, 2020.
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LONDON – The UK government has imposed stricter restrictions on coronavirus in London to help contain the rapid spread of the disease.
The capital of the United Kingdom will rise to what is known as a "high" alert level from midnight on Friday, which deviates from the current "medium" alert.
This means that millions of people in Europe's richest city will soon be unable to meet with anyone outside their household or support bubbles indoors, be it at home or in public.
Government guidelines for a "high" alert also prohibit people meeting in a group of more than six people outdoors, including in a garden or other room, and saying that people should aim to reduce the number of people reduce the number of journeys they make as far as possible.
The majority of England remain on medium alert, which allows companies to continue operating safely after Covid-19. Curfew for hospitality settings. People at this alert level are not allowed to meet indoors or outdoors in groups of six or more.
The strictest level of restrictions in the UK's new three-tier system, which the government outlined on Monday, is "very high". The Liverpool area is the only area facing the toughest of measures.
"We are at a critical moment in our fight against Covid-19 in London. The virus is spreading rapidly in every corner of our city," said London Mayor Sadiq Khan in his opening address to the London assembly on Thursday.
"We will soon reach an average of 100 cases per 100,000 people, with a significant number of counties already above that threshold. Hospital admissions have increased. More and more patients are going to intensive care units. And sadly, more and more London days die again."
"I expect the government will announce today that London will soon move to level 2 – or the high alert restrictions," said Khan.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday said the three tier system of government was the "right way to go" and insisted that it could help "avoid the misery of a national lockdown".
Johnson, who was seriously ill with the coronavirus himself earlier this year, has been harshly criticized for the government's response to the pandemic.
LONDON, ENGLAND – Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a virtual briefing.
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Speaking to a television conference with Johnson on Monday, top government medic Professor Chris Whitty said restrictions on areas of "very high" risk would not be enough to control the outbreak.
Whitty urged local authorities to use their powers to take additional action.
Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labor Party, has since called for a temporary national lockdown of two or three weeks, called a "breaker", to bring the rising rate of the coronavirus under control.
Starmer said a change in approach was needed to avoid a "bleak winter".
His comments came after documents released Monday showed that the government's own scientific advisors, a group called Sage, called for such action three weeks ago.
To date, the UK has registered more than 657,000 cases of Covid-19 with 43,245 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.