Scotland Yard and Mayor warn Londoners to respect Tier two to save lives

2 December 2020, 06:34

Police and protesters at an anti-lockdown protest in London
Police and protesters at an anti-lockdown protest in London. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Scotland Yard and the Mayor have both issued warnings for people in London to respect the new Tier 2 rules or face another "devastating surge" in coronavirus cases.

The Metropolitan police said officers will not hesitate to use their powers where they encounter "deliberate, dangerous or flagrant breaches of the regulations", adding that they will not allow "the foolhardy or selfish actions of a few jeopardise the safety of the entire city".

No mixing of households indoors aside from support bubbles is allowed in Tier 2, with a maximum of six people who do not live together permitted to meet outdoors.

Pubs and bars will remain closed unless operating as restaurants, with alcohol only served as part of a "substantial meal" until 10pm, before venues must close at 11pm.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m appealing directly to Londoners today. You still mustn’t socialise with anyone indoors who you do not live with or who isn’t in your support bubble. If you’re in a shop you must wear a face covering and keep a two-metre distance wherever possible. Plan your journey ahead, so you can shop at quieter times, carry a hand sanitiser, and avoid travelling on public transport during rush hour.

“The number-one way to look out for our loved ones and friends and support local businesses remains ensuring we have this virus under control, and do all we can to avoid going back into tougher restrictions, later this month or any time in the future."

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, the Met's lead for Covid-19 operations, said throughout the national restrictions Londoners have responded well and he called for "common sense" as the tiered system comes into force.

"Unfortunately, there was a small minority who decided to act selfishly by holding parties, weddings or large unlicensed music events.

"We make no apology for using the enforcement powers available to us to issue fines or where needed make arrests if individuals are intent on breaking the rules," he said.

"There will be some more freedoms under Tier 2, and we understand the natural temptation to enjoy the festive season, but we strongly urge everyone to use common sense and behave responsibly.

"Londoners' sacrifices over recent weeks have helped reduce the spread of the virus but we know from bitter experience how quickly that situation can change and in stark terms that means more people losing their lives.

"We should have no doubt that our collective actions over the coming days and weeks will have very serious consequences for better or worse."

Mr Twist said officers will continue to engage with people, explaining the rules and encouraging people to follow them.

"Likewise, we will continue our partnership agreement with London's 32 local authorities, responding robustly to those businesses who dangerously breach the rules and put health at risk," he said.