COVID Tier 2.
The escalation to High Local Alert came into effect in London from the morning of Saturday 17 October. This followed cases of COVID-19 across the capital continuing to increase significantly where we are now at a tipping point, where further measures are needed to help curb transmission, protect the most vulnerable, and reduce pressures on our health, as well as care and social services.
The most recent official figures from Public Health England have shown that across London, confirmed cases were 112.3 per 100,000 with the trend continuing to move upwards. 23 boroughs had a confirmed case rate greater than 100 per 100,000, compared with 20 the previous day. Case rates varied in local authorities between 154.2 and 74.7 per 100,000. The number of people testing positive in Harrow doubled in a week – 123/100k – and West London has some of the highest rates in the capital the real number could be much higher.
Community transmission of the virus, associated with mixing in social and commercial venues remains a major risk factor for transmission, especially among young people, who then take the virus in to the home, which is one of the most significant ways the virus is spreading.
Whilst the economic implications of the proposed restrictions are clear, London’s unique scale and population density means the measures to prevent mixing indoors between households are likely to play a major role in containing the spread of the virus.
The key element of the new restrictions is that people must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they live with them or have formed a support bubble with them. This includes private homes, and any other indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants.
Further information can be found at- https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-levels-what-you-need-to-know#local-covid-alert-level-high
A lot of confusion has come about on working lunch exemptions in the hospitality industry because one minister stated last week “it is a loophole and will be closed” and another said on Friday that the Chancellor meeting in a hospitality premises with colleagues as allowed and supported
Information around work and business meetings is available at – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/the-visitor-economy – which was updated on the 23rd October.
These new restrictions are absolutely essential to keep Harrow residents safe.