COVID-19: London to go into tier 3 as ministers discuss 'tier 4' lockdown.

Ministers are fiercely debating whether to ramp up the response to coronavirus as scientists warn the death toll of the second wave of COVID-19 is set to be larger than the first outbreak seen in March.

Downing Street is now considering whether to introduce a tier 4, which would see only schools and essential businesses remain open, with travel only permitted to get to work or classes. However, health officials are urging the government to scrap the tier system and put in place a full national lockdown, similar to those seen in France and Germany in recent days. The news comes as several regions in England are placed on higher alert levels, meaning the virus is spreading too quickly for areas to cope. Oxford and the Midlands will be placed under tier 2 restriction on Saturday, with West Yorkshire moving to tier 3 on the same day.

It has been predicted that London will be placed under tier 3 restrictions within the next two weeks, as the R rate in the capital is at 2.9, which is double the national average of 1.56.

Across the UK 126,065 people tested positive for coronavirus in the week up until 21st October, up 23% from the previous week. Ministers say they are ruling nothing out in terms of a second national lockdown, however previously Boris Johnson has said this policy would be a mistake.

Read more: French-style national lockdown could be needed if local Tiers fail, admits Dominic Raab -

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