Sadiq Khan insisted scheduled plans that would allow up to three households to mix indoors over the Christmas period should be reviewed in light of the growing coronavirus infection rate. The Mayor of London insisted changes must be made to avoid people “inadvertently” passing on the virus to vulnerable friends and family. He told Sky News: “I heard the Government say yesterday they haven’t ruled out further changes.
“I would encourage the Government to look at their rules over Christmas.
“We have a four-nation approach, you can’t have one rule for London, one rule for the four nations because people have family across the nations.
“What I would say to the Government is, I would not say you got it right, in fact, I know you haven’t got it right in relation to the relaxation over Christmas.”
He also urged Britons who will come together during the holidays to make sure to follow security and distancing measures to avoid catching COVID-19 or passing it on to their loved ones.
Mr Khan continued: “There’s no reason you have to kiss or hug an older relation, if you’re seeing members of your family indoor who are older, even if they’re younger, allow ventilation because none of us wants to inadvertently pass the virus on.”
The Mayor of London dismissed as nonsense the decision to place London under Tier 3 restrictions six days before the Christmas relaxation comes into effect.
He continues: “What we’ve seen across Europe and across the world is that those countries that are more affected from this virus have short-term, more restrictive measures that help health and wealth.
“Look at Germany and the Netherlands, they are not relaxing the rules over Christmas for five days, which could lead to the virus spreading.
But Cheif Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay defended the decision to move London into Tier 3 briefly before Christmas.
Speaking to Sky News said: “The position is not that we are scrapping the tiering system for five days – that we are letting people loose.
“What we are saying is, within the family three households can come together. That’s the limit of the flexibility that is being offered.
“I think it’s been mischaracterised as, almost, a tier zero, that we are scrapping restrictions in their entirety. That is not the case.”
Mr Barclay however insisted people need to “do the minimum” if they visit family over Christmas.
He said: “All things are always kept under review.
“There is a balance to be struck that many families have not seen each other all year.
“It is important for people’s wellbeing, for their mental health. We don’t want to criminalise people for coming together as family over Christmas.
“But, it is important that people do the minimum that is possible. So, people will be making their own judgments.”