Efforts ramp up to reduce coronavirus crisis in super-spreader city
The United Kingdom is ramping up efforts to reduce the coronavirus crisis in London as cases in the super-spreader city continue to grow at a worrying rate.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office overnight said there was "zero prospect of any restrictions" on people travelling in and out of the capital, but further measures are expected to be announced soon.
British citizens are currently advised against all non-essential travel worldwide, however the nation's borders currently remain open.
The London Underground rail network has already closed nine stations and as many as 40 are expected to be shut over coming days.
Night-time Tube and bus services are also set to be reduced, however a complete shutdown of the network is not expected.
Local media reports that the new measures set to be announced are not expected to enforce restrictions on people leaving and returning from homes, although the UK already has strong guidelines for self-isolating.
Already, people who live alone and have shown symptoms of COVID-19 have been told to self-isolate for seven days, or 14 days if they live with others. Employees who can work from home have been urged to do so.
People have been urged not to contact emergency services unless their symptoms worsen and testing is not required if they stay at home during their isolation period.
There has been no confirmation yet as to whether potential restrictions will be put in place to force the closure of public venues such as bars, restaurants and cinemas, which mostly are currently free to continue to operate.
The UK's biggest supermarket chains have already introduced measures to control panic-buying and to reduce the strain on store shelves.
Tesco, Britain's largest supermarket chain, is limiting customers to three items each across its entire product range.
Its competitor, Sainsbury's, has reserved the first hour of trading in its stores today for elderly and vulnerable customers.
The UK has currently recorded more than 2600 cases of COVID-19 and at least 108 people have died. Overnight, Scotland announced three more people had died in the country.
In London alone there has been more than 900 confirmed cases and 34 deaths.