London's mayor warned against reversing the progress made on tackling Covid "especially when a vaccine is in sight".
Sadiq Khan said it was vital that London’s shops and businesses, which were forced by the Government to close just as preparations for the festive period began, "are allowed to open in a safe and Covid-secure manner."
Mr Khan spoke shortly after Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed England's lockdown will end on December 2, and non-essential shops, gyms and hairdressers will be allowed to reopen.
"We need to wait and see the final detail of the plan, but it is vital that London’s shops and businesses, which were forced by the Government to close just as preparations for the festive period began, are allowed to open in a safe and Covid-secure manner," said Sadiq Khan.
He added: “The Government should also scrap its ill-judged curfew altogether to support our pubs, bars and restaurants.
“While this is certainly not going to be a normal Christmas, it is more important than ever that no-one has to spend it alone. It is important plans are devised to allow people to spend the festive period with loved ones after such a tough year, but this must be done in the safest way possible.
“Given the sacrifices made over recent weeks and months, it will be crucial that the Christmas period doesn’t see a reversal of the progress made in getting on top of the virus – especially when a vaccine is in sight.
“We have known since the start of the pandemic that an effective test, trace and isolate system is the only way we will be able to properly reduce the spread of the virus until a vaccine has been rolled out widely.
“I welcome the Government’s plans to ramp up mass testing, but there have been broken promises before, so many will be sceptical. It is beyond belief that it has taken ministers almost the entirety of this pandemic to fully recognise how crucial testing and contact tracing is.
“We will continue to carefully analyse the data over the coming days to determine the tier London should be in on the lifting of the lockdown. Londoners should continue to stick to the rules so we do not waste the hard work and efforts that have been made during this lockdown.”