The leader of Harrow Council has urged residents to “play their part” to help reduce the number of Covid-19 infections in the borough, with London set to move to Tier 2 measures.

Cllr Graham Henson said the decision – which will come into effect on Saturday (October 17) – was “necessary” to help keep people safe.

Under the new ‘high’ alert level, separate households will not be able to mix indoors, including in pubs and restaurants.

Cllr Henson explained that further restrictions were the only option given the increase in cases in Harrow – where they have “doubled in the past couple of weeks” – and across the rest of the capital.

He said: “I understand this is a difficult and worrying time for our communities, residents and businesses but these new restrictions are essential to keep Harrow safe.

“If we are to slow the spread of this deadly virus then we must all take action now.

“The move to Tier 2 does mean more restrictions around social distancing in London and Harrow which are necessary to control the spread and save lives.

“None of us want to stop seeing our family and friends, but by following public health rules, helping each other and working together we can get through this, just as we did during the lockdown earlier this year.

“We must all play our part to avoid further restrictions and keep Harrow safe. Please stay safe and take all necessary precautions to do so.”

He added the council, alongside the Mayor of London, is in contact with ministers to try and secure financial support for businesses who might be affected by the new rules.

The Government’s three tier system came into effect yesterday (October 14), with areas managed based on the respective level of risk to the public.

Most of the country was placed under Tier 1 – ‘medium’ alert – with the Liverpool City region the only area under ‘very high’ alert in Tier 3.

The changes from Saturday will affect other areas of England, including York and Essex, and means more than half of its population will be living under at least high alert restrictions.

Announcing the news in the House of Commons today (October 15), Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Now, I know that these measures are not easy, but I also know that they are vital.

“Responding to this unprecedented pandemic requires difficult choices, some of the most difficult choices any government has to make in peacetime.”