LONDONERS could be plunged into Tier 3 restrictions before Christmas as the fall in infections continues to slow across the capital.
Eight of the 32 London boroughs have seen infections rise in recent days with places such as Camden and Barking witnessing an increase in cases.
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Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that 266 areas of 315 in England have seen a drop in cases.
This means that 49 areas have either seen an increase or have stayed the same and eight of these areas are in London.
Before the second national lockdown Londonders had originally be placed under Tier 1 – before swiftly being moved to Tier 2.
After the second national lockdown ended this week, it was announced that the whole of London would be in Tier 2 once more.
Health chiefs have now warned that Londoners need to stick to the rules to avoid facing tough restrictions.
London's director for PHE, Professor Kevin Fenton today said that people need to stick to social distancing rules as the capital enters the first weekend since restrictions were lifted.
If we want to avoid being placed into Tier 3, it is vital we keep transmission down
Prof Fenton warned that the situation in the capital is "delicate" and said decisions made now would impact the situation over Christmas and the New Year.
There are three areas in East London that have seen an increase in cases.
The figures from PHE relate to the seven days up to November 29.
Redbridge currently has 306.3 cases per 100,000 and is up from 302.1, while Barking and Dagenham has 265.4 up from 262.1.
Newham, which is home to West Ham Football Club – is set to see fans descend to the London stadium tomorrow for their game against Manchester United.
The borough has 230.8 infections per 100,000 – up from 222.3.
Another borough which has seen an increase in cases is Bromley, in southeastern Greater London.
The area currently has 149.5 infections per 100,000 up from 127.9, while Haringey in North London, currently has 140.7 per 100,000 up from 130.7.
Lewisham sits at 109.5 up from 99.4, Southwark is at 101.3 up from 99.4 and Camden has also seen an increase and sits at 94.8, up from 88.1.
Speaking to the London Evening Standard Prof Fenton said: "The promising reductions we had begun to see with the recent national restrictions across the capital have shown signs of slowing in recent days – a stark reminder of just how delicate our situation is.
“If we want to avoid being placed into Tier 3, it is vital we keep transmission down.”
He said Londoners needed to be "vigilant" this weekend.
He added: "As we make plans to go out this weekend, whether it’s shopping, eating out or meeting with friends outside, it is vital we remain vigilant and keep in mind that the virus is still present.
“Our actions over this weekend and in the weeks ahead will make a big difference to our outlook over the festive period and into the New Year."
In the last four days infections rates across the capital as a whole have remained relatively unchanged.
RATES 'FAR TOO HIGH'
On average the capital currently has 155.8 new cases per 100,000 in the week to November 28.
Figures for the previous three days were at 154.3, 154.5 and 156.1.
Prof Fenton added: “We are continuing to see a mixed picture of cases across London’s boroughs, with much higher levels in the north east of the city.
“However, even in those areas that have had the biggest declines, rates are still far too high.”
On 3 December the daily number of new people who tested positive for Covid-19 in London was reported as 2,081.
The latest reported number of patients in London hospitals was 1,493.
England moved back into the tiered system on Wednesday after a month of lockdown.
Ministers hope it will continue to drive cases down over December before families celebrate together over Christmas – which scientists say is bound to cause cases to rise, potentially by double.
A total of 99 per cent of England's population are either in Tier 3 or Tier 2.
Those in Tier 2, which will cover 57 per cent of England’s population, will only be able to serve alcohol alongside a “substantial meal” and must obey rules restricting household mixing indoors.
The tier allocations will be reviewed on December 16, with weekly revisions thereafter.
The Prime Minister has reassured that "your tier is not your destiny", and there will be opportunity to drop down a level if the data supports it.
The Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in the Commons on Tuesday: “We will look at the country where the tiers apply according to the epidemiology, according to the human geographies of where people live and work because that is how the virus gets passed on.”
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