Covid-19: This is why London is going into Tier 3

Shoppers pass social distancing signs on Oxford Street, in central London.

Londoners were able to count their blessings when the capital was placed in Tier 2 at the end of lockdown.

The Prime Minister was apparently advised to impose the tightest restrictions but decided damage to London's economy would be too high.

Less than two weeks later the post-lockdown honeymoon is over - London is going into Tier 3.

Graph shows rise in number of people with at least one positive COVID-19 test result Credit:

The capital is showing an average infection rate of 225 cases per 100,000 people - a sharp rise on a week ago. On average in England there were 134 cases per 100,000 people.

Recent 7-day case rates - rate of people with at least one positive COVID-19 test result in London Credit:

Seven east London boroughs began mass testing of students in secondary schools today in a bid to halt the spread of the virus.

But in another borough, Greenwich, council leaders called on schools to bring forward the start of the Christmas holidays.

Shoppers on Regent Street earlier this month

The rise in infections is a rapid reversal of fortune for Londoners. When the second wave of Covid-19 hit the UK, the capital appeared to escape the worst affects.

Now London's pubs, bars and restaurants are bracing themselves for the worst imaginable Christmas present: Complete closure.

Covid: London moving towards 'exponential growth' phase as coronavirus rates rise across the capital

Does the three-tier Covid-19 system really work to drive down infections?