Concerns are growing in London amid reports that the capital could be put on lockdown this weekend in the fight against coronavirus.
Voice notes, shared on WhatsApp and social media, claim to have intel from people in the armed forces and the police, stating that the government is pushing through a bill on Thursday to bring London to standstill.
On Thursday the UK government will bring forward emergency legislation giving the UK authorities powers to shut down pubs and restaurants, “restrict or prohibit events and gatherings” and limit activity in “any place, vehicle, train, vessel or aircraft.”
Multiple sources told the Mirror they expect restrictions to be tightened in the capital. Exact measures and timing are not yet known – but emergency laws will soon allow the government to shut venues and restrict travel if needed.
Whitehall sources today told the Mirror lockdown-style measures in London – which Boris Johnson admitted is “a few weeks ahead” of the rest of the country – are “imminent”.
But the exact timing and exact shape of any measures have not been decided.
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.”
A source close to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan told the Daily Telegraph: “We expect a shutdown of London but nobody in central Government is saying when that will be or what form it will take.
“The Prime Minister is saying we need to go faster and further and there is a spike of cases in London which is running ahead of the country but what that actually means the mayor’s office doesn’t yet know because Downing Street hasn’t said.”
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.”