Commuters walk over London Bridge toward the city during the morning rush hour on Thursday. The city and other large areas are set to be under a high alert for the coronavirus. Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images
London, Birmingham and other U.K. cities are now at a high alert for COVID-19, as officials tighten restrictions on people and businesses in a huge swath of England. The alert level rose Thursday as part of a new system meant to tamp down regional outbreaks.
"Things will get worse before they get better," U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said as he announced the changes in Parliament. Europe is seeing a huge spike in new cases, Hancock said, "And here, we certainly saw the highest figure for daily deaths since early June."
In addition to the capital, the high-alert level applies to Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield and other areas. It will officially take effect on Saturday morning one minute after midnight, Hancock said. He listed more than a dozen counties that are moving to high alert.
"In all of these places, cases are doubling in less than a fortnight," Hancock said. Read more >>