As Covid infections decrease in 21 boroughs across London, there is growing momentum among politicians and business leaders to encourage the government to consider ending the lockdown in the capital city before the scheduled date of December 2. London, often regarded as the economic powerhouse of the UK, plays a critical role in the country’s financial stability. Given its significant contribution to the national economy, there is a strong desire to expedite the reopening of the city.
Calls for an Early Exit from Lockdown
Theresa Villiers, the former international development secretary and transport secretary, has made a fervent call for the government to contemplate ending the lockdown ahead of schedule. She emphasizes that with a decrease in Covid cases in numerous boroughs, there is no justification for extending the lockdown beyond its stipulated end date on December 2.
This plea has garnered support from various quarters, including the City of London, London First (a business group), the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and several prominent business leaders.
Infection Rate and Economic Consequences
London currently reports an infection rate of 145 cases per 100,000 of the population. This figure is notably lower than the infection rates in other major cities and even falls below the rate in Wales, which recently exited its lockdown on November 9, with an infection rate of 272.
The economic repercussions of an extended lockdown are substantial. Estimates suggest that such an extension could lead to a £6 billion reduction in the city’s economic output. This is particularly concerning for owners of hospitality establishments, who fear that they won’t survive the festive season if London were to revert to Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions in December.
There were improving Covid numbers and mounting economic pressure.