London may face a coronavirus lockdown similar to those seen in other European cities, as Boris Johnson warned the country he was prepared to take “further and faster measures” to tackle the disease.
While Downing Street is understood not to be planning to impose more stringent measures immediately, the prime minister said he would not hesitate to roll out tougher action to protect people’s health and NHS services when necessary, as officials reiterated the capital was ahead of other parts of the country in terms of the virus’ spread.
In his daily press conference, Johnson said: “We’ve always said we’re going to do the right measures at the right time.
“I think a lot of people are making a real heroic effort to comply with the advice that we have given but as I’ve said tonight and in the past few days we keep everything under continuous review and we will not hesitate to bring forward further and faster measures where we think that is necessary.”
It emerged on Wednesday that the Cabinet Office had written to Whitehall departments asking for their recommendations on stricter measures for the capital, in a “shielding plan for London”, where 953 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 – nearly a third of the 2,626 UK total.
Johnson ended his briefing by repeating his warning that more stringent measures were still on the table. He said: “Absolutely we do not rule out … because it would be quite wrong to do so … we do not rule out taking further and faster measures in due course.”
His remarks came as Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, suggested the government was considering a far tougher strategy to deal with the coronavirus.
She attends the government’s regular emergency Cobra meetings and said she expected the UK government to announce “more stringent measures” for the capital, where the disease is spreading at a faster rate than the rest of the country.Read More….