London could face coronavirus lockdown with extra travel restrictions as bug spreads quicker in capital

LONDON could enter a coronavirus lockdown – with extra travel restrictions for Brits in the capital.

Sources close to City Hall say the Government is preparing fresh legislation to give them the power to stop gatherings, and keep Londoners inside.

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It could include measures to stop Londoners leaving their homes except to go to the supermarket or pharmacy, The Sun has been told.

Downing Street said today that ministers could use existing laws to keep individuals "in isolation for their own safety".

And the emergency powers could come as early as Friday, though sources stressed the plans were not imminent.

Measures like this are being considered because London is the worst affected area in the country – with 621 cases and 25 deaths.

In the country as a whole there are now 2,626 cases – up by more than 600 in 24 hours.

The PM said earlier this week that the virus was spreading faster in London than other parts of the country – and people in the capital should take extra note of the new rules.

No10 today did not deny that extra measures were coming specifically for London.

A spokesperson said: "We have set out the steps necessary at this point in time. But we will be guided by the scientific and medical advice to make sure we take the right steps at the right time.

"We will do whatever it is required to keep the public safe."

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Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said earlier that London may have to take "more stringent measures" because of its outbreak curve.

She said: "It will not be the case that all parts of the UK are at the same place on the curve at the same time.

"We know London is ahead of the rest of us so we may see more stringent measures than even those that we have announced so far, being taken but they will not necessarily be taken in all parts of the country at the same time."

Earlier this week Boris announced strict new measures – telling everyone to work from home if they can, and to stop going out and socialising with friends and family.

But insiders said the Government were alarmed that Londoners were ignoring calls to avoid pubs and restaurants, and further action needed to be taken to stop the spread.

Legislation could allow the Government to shut down premises too.

New figures from Transport for London show a drop of 20 per cent on the tubes and buses at the start of March already.

Lockdowns – what is the rest of Europe doing to stop the spread?

FRANCE

Since midday yesterday in France, people are only allowed to go out to make essential trips such as going to the supermarket, pharmacy and work if they have to.

And only one individual per household is permitted to leave at once.

They have to carry paperwork which confirms your identity and address – and explains the reason why you are travelling.

Cultural and sporting activities are banned and big public events are also barred.

Restaurants and bars are closed, while public transport is severely limited.

And they face an on-the-spot of 138 euros if they do not have the documents on them at the time.

Ministers have deployed 100,000 cops to enforce the lockdown.


ITALY

Meanwhile, Italy has faced a similar lockdown since March 10 – where no one is allowed out except to to get food, petrol and medicine, and have to be healthy to do so.

All schools, restaurants, bars and cafes are shut, and anyone that does venture out has to fill in a set of forms too.

Italy has the second-highest number of diagnosed cases in the world, with 30,000 infections and more than 2,500 deaths.

There are fines of up to 200 euros on the spo and six months in prison if they are found to break the rules.

Thousands of people so far have received a ticking off so far.


SPAIN

Deadly coronavirus has seen Spain gradually grind to a halt.

All non-essential venues have been shut down and people told only to leave home if absolutely necessary for food or medication.

The country, which has reported nearly 12,000 cases and nearly 500 deaths, and today closed all hotels and demanded tourists leave urgently.

The government shuttered schools on March 11 and announced an official state of emergency on Friday.

All bars and restaurants have closed and there are fines of up to 600,000 euros for disobeying the lockdown ban.

Spaniards can also be jailed for up to a year.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has warned his people they faced "very difficult weeks" of sacrifices ahead.




And today it was announced that schools in Wales and Scotland would shut on Friday.

England's announcement is set to come later today.

Boris told PMQs in the Commons: "The House should expect decisions to be taken imminently on schools."

 

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