Coronavirus tiers: Is London a 'special case'? 1 month ago

Coronavirus tiers: Is London a 'special case'?

The Conservative candidate to be Mayor of London, Shaun Bailey, says it's right London is treated differently to the rest of the country

As England's national lockdown ended and new local coronavirus measures were announced this week it became clear to most that little was ending or, indeed, new.

Vast swathes of the country, particularly in the north, were moved into the category with the tightest restrictions - tier 3. There is little material difference between tier 3 and the national lockdown that preceded it, to the extent that the supposed deadline of December 2 would be better viewed as the activation day of a rebranding exercise. The more things change the more things stay the same.

Particularly galling for some top tier areas is that, according to the government's own metrics, the prevalence of coronavirus is lower there than in some London boroughs.


The reasoning behind London's omission is as yet unexplained. The view could've been that to lockdown the central boroughs, where cases are lower, in the name of reducing transmission in the outer boroughs, where cases are higher, would be unnecessarily overbearing and damaging.

Although that would be poorly received in places like Stratford-upon-Avon which, along with all of Warwickshire, is in tier 3 due to high rates in the north of the county.

Is London a special case?

Conservative candidate to be Mayor of London Shaun Bailey thinks so. In an interview with JOE's Oli Dugmore before the tier system was announced, he said London is "the engine of the UK economy" and was very concerned about the capital going into tier 3. He has been quoted describing tier 3 as a "disaster" but was more coy in this conversation, although he still reiterated his belief that London is a "special case."