London heads for lockdown: Here's what we know about how coronavirus could shut down the city

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London heads for lockdown: Here's what we know about how coronavirus could shut down the city

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london coronavirus lockdown 1

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  • London could be heading for lockdown within days as UK government officials consider plans to tackle the rapid spread of coronavirus in the city.
  • Reports suggest bars and restaurants could be closed and public events banned.
  • Police could guard supermarkets.
  • 40 London Underground Stations are being closed across the city.
  • Downing Street deny any plans to prevent people from leaving or entering London.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Plans to place London into "lockdown" to prevent the rapid spread of the coronavirus could be announced as early as Friday as officials consider drastic plans to impose tough new measures for the UK capital

The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed on Wednesday that the UK government are developing plans for "stringent measures" for the city, which would be announced imminently.

According to multiple reports, the measures under consideration included:

A Downing Street spokesperson on Thursday denied the government has any plans to restrict movement in and out of the city, or that limits would be placed on how many people could leave their homes.

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However, they signalled that further restrictions on pubs and restaurants were being considered.

Keep on reading below for the latest information on potential plans to put London into lockdown.

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Downing Street denies any plan to restrict travel in and out London

Downing Street denies any plan to restrict travel in and out London

A spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday denied some of the reported details about plans for a possible London lockdown.

The spokesperson said on Thursday: "There are no plans to close down the transport network in London and there is zero prospect of any restriction being placed on travelling in or out of London."

They also dismissed reports that there would be limits on the number of people allowed out of their homes at any time as "not true" and said there were "no plans" to use the army to maintain public order.

However, Downing Street sources suggest new measures to enforce the closure of pubs and restaurants are under consideration.

Confirmed coronavirus cases in London rise to 953

Confirmed coronavirus cases in London rise to 953

The total number of coronavirus cases in the London region has risen to 953 according to the latest government figures.

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London lockdown announcement could come on Friday

London lockdown announcement could come on Friday

Reports differ on when a potential London lockdown could be announced. However, when asked about the plans on Wednesday, a Downing Street source insisted that nothing would be announced within 48 hours.

This ties with other reports that an announcement is due before the weekend, with new restrictions in place by next week.

40 London Underground stations closed across the city

40 London Underground stations closed across the city

London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced on Thursday that he will close 40 Tube stations across the city as it prepares for what City Hall officials anticipate will be a broader lockdown.

Khan is also reducing the frequency of services on the Tube, overground and buses, as many Londoners move to working from home.

You can read the full plans here.

NEW: @TfL have announced a reduced service to enable key workers to make essential journeys.

➡️ Up to 40 stations now closed

➡️ Waterloo and City line and the Night Tube suspended from tomorrow

Details here. Please check before you travel: #COVID19 https://t.co/OMc1nd9rVP pic.twitter.com/xlBF18Xett

— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) March 19, 2020
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City Hall kept in the dark over London lockdown

City Hall kept in the dark over London lockdown

Sources close to London Mayor Sadiq Khan say that he has been kept in the dark about what the national government is planning for London.

Two sources close to London's Mayor Sadiq Khan told Business Insider that he had not been consulted about any lockdown.

"We haven't heard anything from them about this," one said.

City Hall officials believe the secrecy may be due to the government remaining unsure about the extent of any lockdown.

"Maybe Downing Street don't know [when this will happen]" they explained.

"Maybe Downing Street don't know [when this will happen]."

Could Paris be the model for London's lockdown?

Could Paris be the model for London's lockdown?

Other European cities have already implemented lockdowns on their major cities.

In Paris, residents require a form before they are authorised to leave their homes, Business Insider reported earlier this week.

The Financial Times reports that similar plans were being considered for London.

However, Downing Street deny that such restrictive measures are under consideration.

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