Matt Hancock confirms London is heading into Tier 3 along with parts of Essex and Hertfordshire

14 December 2020, 15:51 | Updated: 14 December 2020, 16:01

Matt Hancock has announced the South East of England is heading into Tier 3
Matt Hancock has announced the South East of England is heading into Tier 3. Picture: BBC/PA Images

London, Essex and areas of Hertfordshire will be heading into Tier 3 from Wednesday.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed London is heading into stricter coronavirus restrictions this week.

Essex will also face the toughest restrictions, as well as areas of Hertfordshire.

The parts of Essex covered include: Basildon, Brentwood, Harlow, Epping Forest, Castle Point, Rochford, Malden, Braintree and Chelmsford, Thurrock and Southend on Sea.

And the parts of South Hertfordshire covered include: Broxbourne, Hertsmere, Watford and the Three Rivers local authority area.

The new rules will come into place from 0:01 on Wednesday December, 16.

Matt Hancock spoke to the Commons today
Matt Hancock spoke to the Commons today. Picture: BBC

This means that people can only see friends and family they don’t live with, or are in a support bubble with, in outdoor public places.

Read More: Sadiq Khan calls for all secondary schools and colleges in London to close

Hospitality settings must close, except takeaway delivery, while people should avoid travelling outside their area and reduce the number of journeys they make wherever possible.

Speaking to the House of Commons today about the plans to put the capital into tier three, Mr Hancock said: “The virus remains just as dangerous as it has always been.

“We must act now to shift the curve so we are acting ahead of formal review date.”

It comes after the latest data from Public Health England showed there was an increase in coronavirus case rates in all 32 London boroughs in the seven days to 9 December.

The seven-day rate has also exceeded 200 cases per 100,000 people in 17 boroughs, meaning London now has the highest infection rate in the country.

Meanwhile, London mayor Sadiq Khan recently called the latest figures ‘deeply concerning’ and urged the Prime Minister to consider immediate action to support businesses forced to close again.

In an open letter to the government, the mayor wrote: “Should the government decide to move London to further restrictions, current support is insufficient to keep many businesses and the self-employed afloat.

“The Christmas and new year period provides a huge part of annual takings for the hospitality, culture and events industries, and the period this year was likely to be the difference between businesses surviving the pandemic and failing.”