London’s move into Tier 3, the highest tier of coronavirus restrictions, was avoidable, according to Luisa Porritt, the Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced yesterday that London would be heading into Tier 3 from midnight on Wednesday, meaning today is the last day of Tier 2 restrictions.
And whilst Porritt, who was confirmed as the Liberal Democrat candidate in October, accepted that the move is necessary, but did not think it needed to be.
She said: “My heart goes out to all Londoners who will be feeling the impact of this, whether through ruined plans with family and friends or work grinding to a halt.
“I am so frustrated that only weeks after coming out of national lockdown we are going back into further restrictions.
“It didn’t have to be this way.
“Make no mistake, the Government’s failure to get a proper test, trace and isolate system in place, along with the mess it’s made of public communications, are the reasons why we are where we are.”
The restrictions mean that pubs and restaurants must be closed except for takeaway and collection, with other forms of hospitality and indoor entertainment forced to close.
People may not meet with others outside their household or bubble indoors, or in private gardens and most outdoor venues, with the “rule of six” still enforced in public gardens and parks.
And Porritt echoed the thoughts of Sadiq Khan, who called for more support for London businesses.
She also called for the Government to allow local authorities in the capital to take control of mass testing for London themselves.
Porritt said: “From day one of this crisis, the Government knew that test and trace would be key to opening up the economy and allowing people to live more freely.
“In the capital, there is an alternative way forward on mass testing. The Government can put its trust in London’s scientific community, cut the red tape, and simply provide the funds for it to deliver decentralised testing at scale.
“Instead of jumping through Whitehall hoops, we can get testing centres set up rapidly in the places we need it most – from bus depots to schools.”
You can read more about Tier 3 and what it means for Londoners here.
Featured image credit: Andrew King Photography