Reaction from local leaders as Tier Two Lockdown starts in Teddington

  Posted: 15.10.20 at 15:05 by Sian Bayley, Local Democracy Reporter

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Leaders in South West London say the Government needs to reform the national testing system or “we will continue to cycle through restrictions”.

Today it was confirmed that London will be moving into Tier 2 measures at one minute past midnight on Saturday morning.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said cases in the capital were doubling every ten days and that the seven-day average was 97 cases per 100,000 people, meaning that local action was necessary.

The new rules mean people cannot mix households indoors.

The rule of six and social distancing still applies to socialising in private gardens and outdoor spaces.

Pubs and restaurants remain open but different households cannot mix inside and the 10pm curfew remains.

Twickenham MP, Munira Wilson, said: “Unless we radically reform test, trace and isolate, we will continue to cycle through restrictions.”

She asked Matt Hancock in the House of Commons this morning (October 15) if he could share the evidence that the kinds of restrictions implemented under Tier 2 and Tier 3 work effectively.

Mr Hancock said the Government would be “seeking to publish further evidence on the impact of measures”, and that restrictions in Bolton and Leicester showed how the curve could be flattened and brought down.

He confirmed that measures would be reviewed fortnightly.

Liberal Democrat party leader and MP for Kingston and Surbiton, Ed Davey, said a ‘circuit breaker’ option, backed by Labour Leader Keir Starmer “makes more sense.”

He tweeted: “The PM has lost control of this virus – so the sacrifices of millions of people in the last six months have been squandered. The Government must now explain how Tier 2 will stop the spread in London, and how they plan to sort out test, trace and isolate. Circuit breaker makes more sense.”

According to the latest figures from Public Health England, analysed by the Press Association, for the seven days to October 10, Richmond upon Thames saw the second-highest rate of cases in the capital, with 137.9 cases per 100,000 people.

However, these figures have been disputed by the council, which says they may have been ‘skewed’ by university students who are living away from home, but are still registered with a GP in the borough.

Nearby Kingston and Wandsworth are just hovering below the crucial figure of 100 cases per 100,000 people.

In the seven days to October 10, Kingston had 98.6 cases per 1000,000 people and Wandsworth had 98.3 per 100,000.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said in a statement this morning that the “disastrous failure of the test, trace and isolate system leaves us with little choice”, but to move into Tier 2.

He said the Government “must come forward with more financial support for affected businesses and local authorities immediately, as well as for vulnerable Londoners struggling to get by”.

“I still believe that, as SAGE recommended to ministers, the immediate priority should now also be a short national circuit breaker. This would allow us to get the reinfection rate down to a manageable level and give the government more time finally to get a grip on the failing test and trace system,” he said.

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