London Mayor to discuss introducing lockdown measures in capital with council leaders

Sadiq Khan has spoken with Matt Hancock about what action is needed in London. Credit: PA

The introduction of new lockdown restrictions in London within days cannot be ruled out, the Health Secretary has said.

Matt Hancock said he had spoken with London mayor Sadiq Khan over the weekend about what action is needed in the capital.

Mr Khan will meet council leaders on Monday to discuss lockdown measures for London.

Asked if London office employees could be advised to work from home from some point next week, Mr Hancock told Times Radio: “Well, I wouldn’t rule it out.”

Such a move would be in contrast to the government’s recent messaging, which has been urging people to get back to their offices following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Londoners could be asked to avoid commuting into their offices and work from home instead. Credit: PA

It comes as Mr Khan urged ministers to extend the latest regional restrictions – including ordering bars and restaurants to close at 10pm – to cover the capital as well.

Mr Khan said it is “increasingly likely” that lockdown restrictions will soon be needed to slow the spread of coronavirus.

A spokesperson for Mr Khan said: “The situation is clearly worsening. Sadiq will meet council leaders tomorrow and any London-specific measures will be recommended to ministers following that.

“The mayor wants fast action as we cannot risk a delay, as happened in March. It is better for both health and business to move too early than too late.”

ITV News understands officials from the Department of Health and the Mayor’s office met on Sunday to discuss growing infection rates in London.

The number of cases per 100,000 people over seven days is reported to have increased in London from 18.8 to around 25 earlier in the week.

Mayoral sources said the city was catching up with disease hotspots in the north-west and north-east of England, which have been placed under new controls.

Mr Khan believes London may be just “two or three days” behind the hotspots of the North West and North East of England.