September 28, 2020

Coronavirus: Parts of London 'could face curfews' to prevent second wave of infections

September 16, 2020

A curfew could be introduced across London to help prevent a second wave of coronavirus, according to a public health director.

Professor Kevin Fenton, the London director of Public Health England (PHE), praised the "phenomenal" efforts Londoners made in bringing coronavirus infections down over lockdown, appealing for them to do the same again.

In an interview with the Evening Standard, he said "it's inevitable that we will see an increase in cases" moving into the winter period - meaning "we need to pull together".

Professor Fenton explained: "In some areas which have seen resurgence, there have been limits placed on the amount of time you can spend socialising. In some it might be local curfews so you're not out drinking until the wee hours of the morning.

"By limiting that you also limit the amount of time people are spending in close contact with others."

A curfew has already been implemented in Bolton, where hospitality venues are limited to takeaway food and closed from 10pm to 5am.

The PHE director emphasised that another lockdown could have a significant impact on the economy as well as health and wellbeing in the capital.

Before reaching this stage, he said that there are many things people can do to "help reduce the risk of transmission and contain your outbreak".

General restrictions could be applied across London rather than targeted, localised measures which wouldn't account for population flows.

Professor Fenton also pointed to other measures, including wearing masks, stronger public health warnings along with more focus on making places COVID-secure.

The return of university students is also said to present a "challenge" as over 500,000 are expected to return to the city in the coming weeks.

The current transmission rates of coronavirus are highest among those who are aged between 17 and 19.

The PHE director also stated that the demand for COVID-19 tests is currently "much greater than the capacity that we have", with all tests in London currently going to "where they need to be".

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