LONDON’S infection rates are doubling every fortnight and 20 per cent of tests have been taken away from the capital, the Chair of London Councils has said.
Fears over local lockdown restrictions in London have grown as Councillor Peter John revealed one borough has a rate of 40 coronavirus cases per 100,000.
Mr John told Times Radio today he was “massively worried” about tough rules being brought in for Londoners.
He said: “We are seeing in London at the moment infection rate doubling every fortnight.
“It is only going in one direction and only going to speed up.”
Half a million students flocking into the capital will also see infection rates soar, Mr John said.
He revealed that NHS Track & Trace Director Dido Harding had told London councillors that at least 20 per cent of testing capacity had been removed from the city.
People living in London have been unable to get a hold of coronavirus swabs for weeks – and Health Secretary Matt Hancock is having to ration tests to try and deal with the crisis.
Massive queues have been forming at walk-in testing sites, with many unable access swabs online.
London MP Munira Wilson said earlier this week her constituents were having to “game the system” and give fake Scottish postcodes to get a hold of tests in Twickenham.
Mr John said it wasn’t clear what would trigger a local lockdown in London
“I don’t know what the triggers are, if you had spoken to me two weeks ago I would have said infections rates of 20 per 100,000 would be the trigger or something.
“But that is clearly not the case now. In one London borough we are above 40, in ten London Boroughs we are above 30 per 100,000. I’m not sure what is going to trigger the next steps.”
Local lockdowns in Manchester were brought in when the infection rate jumped from 26 per 100,000 to 41.
It comes as parts of the North East are facing curfews on pubs as new infections have continued to soar.
Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said “additional, temporary” measures are being planned to prevent another full lockdown.
He told the BBC this morning: “The evidence we’ve found from local testing is that it’s spreading in three main areas: in pubs, in people’s homes and in grassroots sports,” he said.
“So (council leaders) have put together a series of requests to government for additional restrictions around these areas for a fixed period of time to try to prevent a damaging full lockdown.”