Fears grow London could move to Tier 3

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Fears grow London could move to Tier 3 Sadiq Khan warning Coronavirus cases hospitality closing

Related tags: Coronavirus tier system, London

An industry voice has warned that moving London to Tier 3 and thus forcing the capital's hospitality businesses to close would 'further devastate' the sector.

Ahead of the Government reviewing the country's tier restrictions next Wednesday (16 December), Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said there is 'growing speculation' among political leaders in the capital that London needs to move to the highest tier in England's Coronavirus alert system.

Transmission figures for the week to December 3 show Coronavirus cases have increased in 24 of London's 32 boroughs.

Neil Pattison, director at hospitality jobs board Caterer.com​, says moving the capital into Tier 3 would further devastate the industry.

“Pent up demand for pints in the pub or a meal out could have injected as much as £15.9bn into the economy before New Year’s Day," he says.

"The ever-changing tiered restrictions and the possibility of London being placed into Tier 3 would further devastate the hospitality industry, with businesses across the country already bracing themselves to lose £8bn in expected revenue this festive season under the current rules.

"As well as damage to the sector, tighter restrictions will undoubtedly force many thousands of our talented hospitality workforce to look elsewhere for work."

London currently sits in Tier 2, where restrictions ban household mixing in indoor settings and require pubs and bars to close unless they are able to serve a 'substantial meal'.

In a statement yesterday (9 December), Khan urged Londoners to follow the rules to avoid a further surge in cases that could see the capital smacked with Tier 3 restrictions, which require all hospitality businesses to close except for takeaway and delivery.

He said: "The number of Coronavirus cases in London are rising again and if we don't all work together now we face tougher restrictions across the capital.

"Londoners have worked incredibly hard to help bring down the number of cases before, but we must not risk undoing all the sacrifices that have been made by lowering our guard and allowing cases to rise further ahead of Christmas.

"I urge all Londoners to follow the rules - for the good of the loved ones that we want to see over the festive period and to help all our local businesses who need our support."

The Mayor has also questioned the timing of potentially placing stricter restrictions before Christmas, when restrictions are set to be eased nationally for a five day period to allow households to mix over the festive break.

Should the Government choose not to move London to Tier 3, it will increase the pressure on ministers to move areas of northern England including Greater Manchester - where levels of transmission appear to be receding - down to Tier 2.

A Department of Health spokesperson told the BBC​: "Tiering decisions are based on a range of criteria including how quickly case rates are going up or down, cases in the over 60s, pressure on the NHS and local circumstances.

"The Government will review the tiering allocations every 14 days and areas will move up or down the tiers based on these indicators from local areas."

Related topics: Business & Legislation

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