Watford’s Mayor has written to the Prime Minister over reported plans to use the M25 to seal off London if there is a spike in Covid-19 infections.

Mayor Peter Taylor urged the government in a letter to consult with Watford Borough Council on any such proposals and to have clarity over any plans that may go ahead.

It comes after The Times reported that Boris Johnson held a "war game" session with Chancellor Rishi Sunak to run through possible options in the event of a second wave, and measures were said to include lockdown-like conditions for London, with the M25 acting as a barrier around the capital.

Downing Street said the ability to impose travel restrictions had been set out in its strategy for preventing the spread of coronavirus but denied it was a plan specifically drawn up for the capital.

Hillingdon Times:

Watford, along with other surrounding areas such as Bushey and Rickmansworth, sit within the M25 despite not being in London. The council believe the areas could be “drastically impacted” if a ‘quarantine ring’ were to be implemented.

After sending the letter, Mr Taylor said: “Watford should not be forgotten about in any plans to use the M25 as a barrier to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. We are within the M25 and these plans could drastically impact people who live and work in our town, just as we are working to get Watford back on its feet.

'We have worked hard to keep people safe over the last few months but the Prime Minister must tell us if these reports are accurate or not. We must be consulted on any moves that will impact residents in our town.

“Watford businesses are working so hard to adapt to the current situation and this uncertainty is the last thing they need. We must have clarity on this quickly.”

The Mayor of London also wrote to the Prime Minister to express “great surprise” at the plans.

The government's "Contain" strategy sets out "the possibility of putting in place restrictions on travel if there is an area that is particularly badly affected".

"One of the steps within that potentially includes closing down local transport networks," the Prime Minister's official spokesman said.

"It's there, it's contained in the document, it's not a new thing - we have informed the public and politicians of that being a potential action that we could take.

"But, to be clear, it's not something that is specific to London or anywhere else."