Sadiq Khan urges Londoners to ‘shop safe’

Christmas shoppers in the capital this weekend have been urged to follow social-distancing measures and wear face coverings by the Mayor of London.

Sadiq Khan appealed to Londoners to keep a two-metre distance where possible as he said it was "vital" to work together to tackle rising coronavirus cases in the city.

Crowds were out and about in shopping districts of major cities on Saturday, including on London's Regent Street, which had been temporarily pedestrianised to aid with social distancing.

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Shoppers, some wearing face masks, walk under Christmas decorations on a busy Regent Street in London, England, on December 12, 2020. Speculation London could imminently be placed under 'Tier 3' coronavirus restrictions has risen this week amid rising numbers of people testing positive for covid-19 in the city. Tier 3 would see hospitality business again forced to close, other than to operate as takeaways, just weeks after they were allowed to reopen at the end of the second national lockdown on December 2. The decision is to be made this Wednesday, at a meeting reportedly to be chaired by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Crowds of shoppers are seen on Oxford Street, on 12 December, 2020 in London, England. London is at risk of moving into Tier 3 Coronavirus restrictions before Christmas as the infection rates in the capital are now above the national average and continue to rise, with the government due to review allocations for all areas in England on 16 December. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Crowds of shoppers are enjoying the traffic free Regent Street adorned with festive light dsiplays, on 12 December, 2020 in London, England. London is at risk of moving into Tier 3 Coronavirus restrictions before Christmas as the infection rates in the capital are now above the national average and continue to rise, with the government due to review allocations for all areas in England on 16 December. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Shoppers wearing fancy hats are enjoying the traffic free Regent Street, on 12 December, 2020 in London, England. London is at risk of moving into Tier 3 Coronavirus restrictions before Christmas as the infection rates in the capital are now above the national average and continue to rise, with the government due to review allocations for all areas in England on 16 December. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Crowds of shoppers are seen on Oxford Street as the festive lights are switched on, on 12 December, 2020 in London, England. London is at risk of moving into Tier 3 Coronavirus restrictions before Christmas as the infection rates in the capital are now above the national average and continue to rise, with the government due to review allocations for all areas in England on 16 December. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Christmas lights twinkle as shoppers and pedestrians walk along Regent Street in London on December 12, 2020, as with under two weeks to Christmas, people take advantage of the easing of England's restrictions on shop openings to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Christmas lights twinkle as shoppers make their way down the stairs to the Piccadilly underground station in London on December 12, 2020, as with under two weeks to Christmas, people take advantage of the easing of England's restrictions on shop openings to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Shoppers and pedestrians walk along Regent Street in London on December 12, 2020, as with under two weeks to Christmas, people take advantage of the easing of England's restrictions on shop openings to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Shoppers and pedestrians walk along Regent Street in London on December 12, 2020, as with under two weeks to Christmas, people take advantage of the easing of England's restrictions on shop openings to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Shoppers and pedestrians walk along Regent Street in London on December 12, 2020, as with under two weeks to Christmas, people take advantage of the easing of England's restrictions on shop openings to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Shoppers and pedestrians are seen in Regent Street in London on December 12, 2020, as with under two weeks to Christmas, people take advantage of the easing of England's restrictions on shop openings to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Shoppers fill the streets in central London on December 12, 2020, as with under two weeks to Christmas, people take advantage of the easing of England's restrictions on shop openings to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. - A Brexit trade deal between Britain and the European Union looks to be hanging in the balance, after leaders on both sides of the Channel gave a gloomy assessment of progress in last-gasp talks. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Shoppers, some wearing face masks, walk under Christmas decorations on a busy Oxford Street in London, England, on December 12, 2020. Speculation London could imminently be placed under 'Tier 3' coronavirus restrictions has risen this week amid rising numbers of people testing positive for covid-19 in the city. Tier 3 would see hospitality business again forced to close, other than to operate as takeaways, just weeks after they were allowed to reopen at the end of the second national lockdown on December 2. The decision is to be made this Wednesday, at a meeting reportedly to be chaired by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Traffic queues on an Oxford Street packed with Christmas shoppers in London, England, on December 12, 2020. Speculation London could imminently be placed under 'Tier 3' coronavirus restrictions has risen this week amid rising numbers of people testing positive for covid-19 in the city. Tier 3 would see hospitality business again forced to close, other than to operate as takeaways, just weeks after they were allowed to reopen at the end of the second national lockdown on December 2. The decision is to be made this Wednesday, at a meeting reportedly to be chaired by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: People in Santa costumes walk amongst Christmas shoppers Regent Street on December 12, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: People shop in Burlington Arcade in Mayfair on December 12, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
Shoppers queue outside Debenhams on Oxford Street in London on December 6, 2020. - Shoppers returned to Englands high streets this week as shops reopened following the end of a four-week coronavirus lockdown. (Photo by Hollie Adams / AFP) (Photo by HOLLIE ADAMS/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 06: Crowds of shoppers are seen on Oxford street on December 6, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. Earlier this week, England ended a nationwide lockdown that had closed non-essential stores and sit-down restaurants, transitioning to a localised tier system. Classified as Tier 2, London and its retail sector are trying to salvage the holiday shopping season. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
A woman wearing a face mask crosses Oxford Circus in London, England, on December 5, 2020. London has returned to so-called Tier 2 or 'high alert' coronavirus restrictions since the end of the four-week, England-wide lockdown last Wednesday, meaning a reopening of non-essential shops and hospitality businesses as the festive season gets underway. Rules under all three of England's tiers have been strengthened from before the November lockdown, however, with pubs and restaurants most severely impacted. In London's West End, meanwhile, Oxford Street and Regent Street were both packed with Christmas shoppers this afternoon, with the retail sector hoping for a strong end to one of its most difficult years. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07: Shoppers cross the street at Oxford Circus on December 7, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. After a weekend of tense talks, representatives for the UK and European Union said "significant divergences" remained in their aims for a post-Brexit trade deal. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is scheduled to talk to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen this evening as a deal deadline looms. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
A shopper wearing a face mask carries a bag from clothing retailer Arket along a busy Oxford Street in London, England, on December 5, 2020. London has returned to so-called Tier 2 or 'high alert' coronavirus restrictions since the end of the four-week, England-wide lockdown last Wednesday, meaning a reopening of non-essential shops and hospitality businesses as the festive season gets underway. Rules under all three of England's tiers have been strengthened from before the November lockdown, however, with pubs and restaurants most severely impacted. In London's West End, meanwhile, Oxford Street and Regent Street were both packed with Christmas shoppers this afternoon, with the retail sector hoping for a strong end to one of its most difficult years. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Shoppers carry bags across Oxford Circus in London, England, on December 5, 2020. London has returned to so-called Tier 2 or 'high alert' coronavirus restrictions since the end of the four-week, England-wide lockdown last Wednesday, meaning a reopening of non-essential shops and hospitality businesses as the festive season gets underway. Rules under all three of England's tiers have been strengthened from before the November lockdown, however, with pubs and restaurants most severely impacted. In London's West End, meanwhile, Oxford Street and Regent Street were both packed with Christmas shoppers this afternoon, with the retail sector hoping for a strong end to one of its most difficult years. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A couple wearing face masks walk along a temporarily-pedestrianised Regent Street in London, England, on December 5, 2020. London has returned to so-called Tier 2 or 'high alert' coronavirus restrictions since the end of the four-week, England-wide lockdown last Wednesday, meaning a reopening of non-essential shops and hospitality businesses as the festive season gets underway. Rules under all three of England's tiers have been strengthened from before the November lockdown, however, with pubs and restaurants most severely impacted. In London's West End, meanwhile, Oxford Street and Regent Street were both packed with Christmas shoppers this afternoon, with the retail sector hoping for a strong end to one of its most difficult years. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A shopper wearing a face mask carries bags along a temporarily-pedestrianised Regent Street in London, England, on December 5, 2020. London has returned to so-called Tier 2 or 'high alert' coronavirus restrictions since the end of the four-week, England-wide lockdown last Wednesday, meaning a reopening of non-essential shops and hospitality businesses as the festive season gets underway. Rules under all three of England's tiers have been strengthened from before the November lockdown, however, with pubs and restaurants most severely impacted. In London's West End, meanwhile, Oxford Street and Regent Street were both packed with Christmas shoppers this afternoon, with the retail sector hoping for a strong end to one of its most difficult years. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A couple carry bags from clothing retailer Zara along Oxford Street in London, England, on December 5, 2020. London has returned to so-called Tier 2 or 'high alert' coronavirus restrictions since the end of the four-week, England-wide lockdown last Wednesday, meaning a reopening of non-essential shops and hospitality businesses as the festive season gets underway. Rules under all three of England's tiers have been strengthened from before the November lockdown, however, with pubs and restaurants most severely impacted. In London's West End, meanwhile, Oxford Street and Regent Street were both packed with Christmas shoppers this afternoon, with the retail sector hoping for a strong end to one of its most difficult years. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Shoppers wearing face masks carry bags along a temporarily-pedestrianised Regent Street in London, England, on December 5, 2020. London has returned to so-called Tier 2 or 'high alert' coronavirus restrictions since the end of the four-week, England-wide lockdown last Wednesday, meaning a reopening of non-essential shops and hospitality businesses as the festive season gets underway. Rules under all three of England's tiers have been strengthened from before the November lockdown, however, with pubs and restaurants most severely impacted. In London's West End, meanwhile, Oxford Street and Regent Street were both packed with Christmas shoppers this afternoon, with the retail sector hoping for a strong end to one of its most difficult years. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Shoppers fill a temporarily-pedestrianised Regent Street in London, England, on December 5, 2020. London has returned to so-called Tier 2 or 'high alert' coronavirus restrictions since the end of the four-week, England-wide lockdown last Wednesday, meaning a reopening of non-essential shops and hospitality businesses as the festive season gets underway. Rules under all three of England's tiers have been strengthened from before the November lockdown, however, with pubs and restaurants most severely impacted. In London's West End, meanwhile, Oxford Street and Regent Street were both packed with Christmas shoppers this afternoon, with the retail sector hoping for a strong end to one of its most difficult years. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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A joint statement from Mr Khan and Cllr Rachael Robathan, leader of Westminster City Council, said a "key" part of helping businesses recover from the crisis was "ensuring we get this deadly virus under control".

"With cases rising in many parts of the capital, it is vital that we all work together to control its spread," the statement said.

"Otherwise we may face tougher restrictions, which would greatly harm shops in the West End, our hospitality sector and the whole of London's economy.

"We are appealing directly to Londoners – when out shopping it is essential that you follow the rules."

Urging Londoners to wear a face covering in shops and socially distance from others, they advised avoiding travelling on public transport during rush hour and to walk and cycle "where you can".

"If you have symptoms – don't take a chance and don't go out. Self-isolate immediately and get a test," they added.

"Businesses across London have worked really hard to make their premises Covid-safe – but we must all play our part in following the rules. So this weekend shop safe."

Increased infection rates have led to fears the capital could be headed for Tier 3 restrictions, which would see hospitality settings closed except for takeaway.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics indicates the proportion of people testing positive for Covid-19 is estimated to have increased in London and possibly in eastern England, but decreased in all other regions.

In an effort to tackle the spread in London, thousands of extra tests are being made available for schools in areas of concern.

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