Reacting to the news that London will be placed into a new Tier Four from tonight, Luisa Porritt, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, said:
“This is heartbreaking news for Londoners, who have already made such huge sacrifices by not seeing their loved ones for most of this year. We were the first part of the country to go into lockdown back in March and are now facing the toughest restrictions yet again, all because Boris Johnson made that first decision too late.
“I know the weight of disappointment everyone who was desperately looking forward to seeing family or friends over the holiday period will now be feeling – I’m feeling it too. The least the government can now do is compensate all the Londoners who have already booked train tickets, having made their plans in good faith based on previous government advice.
“Throughout this pandemic, Boris Johnson has let us all down with his habit of dithering and delaying despite the scientific advice in front of him. His inability to make difficult decisions when required means we’ve all ended up paying a higher price, for longer than necessary. Our country already has among the highest number of deaths and is suffering the worst recession of anywhere in Europe.
“London’s economy has been badly hit by the tiers system, and the combination of another lockdown and a no deal or very limited Brexit agreement in just 12 days’ time will be devastating. The closure of non-essential shops during what is normally their busiest time of year will mean that, as in the hospitality sector, some of these businesses are at risk of never opening again.
“With infection rates rising so rapidly across the capital and a new strain of the virus spreading across the South East, I know that Londoners will pull together and follow the new rules for the sake of our NHS and those who are at most at risk from Covid-19.
“We will do our best to get through this, and I encourage everyone to keep in touch with family and friends remotely in the absence of being able to meet in person over the Christmas period. There is an epidemic of loneliness in our society as well; that’s become sharper due to repeated lockdowns and restrictions, and we all need to look out for each other.”