Report: Boris Govt May Ban Travel In and Out of London If Virus Cases Spike

London
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

Number 10 Downing Street has reportedly confirmed that London and other major British cities could be placed under local lockdowns that would ban travel in and out of them if there is a spike in Chinese coronavirus cases.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to have “war gamed” scenarios in which local travel bans, as seen in communist China, that could be implemented in cities throughout the United Kingdom.

The move would be in lieu of imposing another national lockdown, a government insider told The Times.

“Another national lockdown is like our nuclear deterrent — we will never rule it out but it should be the very last resort in the fight against Covid,” said the insider.

On Monday, The Sun newspaper reported that a source within Downing Street confirmed that the government is considering the plans, which could see residents of the British capital banned from travelling beyond the M25 motorway.

Speaking on LBC radio, Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi said that the government is not ruling out the proposal.

“If we see the virus spreading in a particular way in London, as we‘ve seen in Manchester and West Yorkshire, where it’s spreading through people coming into another person’s home and that’s the way it’s spread, then we will discuss that with the police and we will not hesitate to act,” he said.

“We will actually follow how the virus is behaving and how it is being transmitted between people and then act accordingly,” Zahawi added.

The government is also reportedly considering closing pubs again in order to make schools opening safer, though the connection between the two is open to question.

London mayor Sadiq Khan blasted the proposal to shut down the capital, complaining that the mayor’s office was not consulted in the planning.

“Our surprise is such that far-reaching contingency plans have been discussed and tested without the involvement of London’s government,” Khan said.

“This is clearly totally unacceptable and an affront to London and Londoners,” he claimed.

In response to the reports, author and lockdown sceptic journalist Peter Hitchens said that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has gone “mad with power”.

“Just as the government loses control, and the police lose control of real crime and disorder, they start making life much much more repressive for the law-abiding. The two things actually go hand in hand… it’s so much easier to pick the low hanging fruit of the obedient citizen, who can be scared,” Hitchens told talkRadio host Mike Graham.

To date, some 46,286 deaths have been attributed to the Chinese coronavirus in the United Kingdom, with people over the age of 75 comprising over 80 per cent of all Covid-19-related deaths.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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