LONDON (AP) – London Mayor Sadiq Khan says he expects the government to move the city of 9 million people to a higher level of coronavirus restrictions later Thursday as infection rates rise throughout the capital.
Khan told the London Assembly that talks were continuing but he expected authorities to move London into the second of three risk categories based on “expert public health and scientific advice” about what is needed to save lives.
Khan has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeking details about what assistance would be provided to businesses and individuals affected by such a move.
“Nobody wants to see more restrictions,” Khan said. “But this is deemed to be necessary in order to protect Londoners lives by myself, London council leaders and by ministers.”
The move comes as millions of people in northern England are waiting to find out whether they will be placed under the government’s tightest COVID-19 restrictions.
The mayor of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, with 2.8 million people, says he expects to meet with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s team on Thursday for talks on whether the region will be classified as a “high risk” area. That is the highest risk category in the government’s new three-tier regional COVID-19 strategy and would require restrictions such as closing bars and banning social gatherings outside one’s own home.
The government has said it is also talking with leaders of other parts of northern England where COVID-19 infection rates are higher than other parts of the country.
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