London’s Covid rules stay the same for now

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced yesterday that the country is to be divided into three tiers to describe the level of threat from Covid-19: medium risk, high and very high. London currently is ‘medium risk’, meaning the rules governing what we can and cannot do remain the same for the time being.

The number of cases has quadrupled in the last few weeks and there are now more cases in hospital than there were when we went into lockdown in March. Chief Medical Adviser to the Government, Chris Whitty, said the rate change per 100,000 people in different parts of the country showed that high rates of infection were “heading south.”

He also said the pattern of infection in the North West, which is ‘high risk’ is “likely to be followed elsewhere”, with younger people passing the infection onto older people, who are more likely to be hospitalised and suffer worse from it.

National medical director for England, Professor Stephen H. Powis said the idea that the elderly can be fenced off from risk was just “wishful thinking”.

Major of London Sadiq Khan warned that London could be classed as high risk “within days”. The disease is spreading quickly in every corner of the city, he said. While London has initially been placed in the ‘medium’ category of the government’s new three-tier system for local lockdowns “this could change very quickly – potentially even this week” his spokesman added.

Need a reminder of what the rules are in London?

Meeting friends and family

You can meet in a group of up to six people from multiple households. This includes children and applies indoors and outdoors, including private homes. There are exceptions, for example if your household or support bubble is larger than six. You could be fined for breaking these rules.

Going to work

You should work at home if possible. If you have to return to your workplace your employer must make arrangements for you to work safely.

Schools and nurseries

Primary and secondary schools are open, as are nurseries and childcare. If a school has coronavirus cases, local health protection teams will advise what to do.

Leisure time

Pubs, bars and restaurants must close at 22.00 BST. They are restricted to table service only. Face coverings must be worn, except when seated to eat or drink.


Shops can open with social distancing measures in place. Face coverings must be worn by customers and staff.


Face coverings must be worn on public transport and indoor areas such as museums and cinemas. You can be fined £200 for breaking the rules.

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