London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the Government’s decision to impose Tier 3 restrictions on the capital is “incredibly disappointing” for businesses.
But, in a statement, the Labour mayor urged Londoners to follow the measures to “avoid even tougher restrictions, for longer, further down the road”.
“This is incredibly disappointing for our businesses who have suffered so much already this year,” he said.
“The worst thing for London’s businesses and our economy would be yet another full lockdown in the new year. That’s why I urge Londoners to follow the Tier 3 rules that the Government is putting in place very closely so that we can drive down infection rates as much as possible.
“We now urgently need much more Government support for the sectors of our economy that are being hit the hardest, including hospitality, culture and leisure.”
In a statement to the Commons Health Secretary Matt Hancock said a new, fast-moving variant of Covid-19 had recently been identified, which "may be associated with the faster spread in the South of England."
He said all boroughs of Greater London, along with parts of Essex and Hertfordshire, will move into the highest tier of Covid-19 restrictions from 00:01 on Wednesday.
The owner of one restaurant in south London says her “heart bleeds” having to shut down again when preparations have been made for Christmas.
Clover Eziashi has run Lounge Brixton for around 20 years and said: “We’ve seen lots of things happen before and we’ve been able to ride the storm.
“As an independent you can do that because you can expand and contract, we’ve obviously had to contract a lot more than is usual.”
Speaking from her restaurant, which was serving a handful of customers on Monday afternoon, she added: “The lockdown of this last month and then opening up, people just went into a frenzy.
“It’s just not working, obviously it hasn’t worked shutting us down again when we’ve already put so much money into restocking, that’s where my heart bleeds a little bit.
“We’ve geared up for Christmas, what are we going to do with all of this stock?”
And The Creative Industries Federation has said that the Tier 3 announcement is “devastating news” for London’s creative sector.
A tweet from the trade body said: