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Downing Street says there’s ‘zero chance’ of stopping travel in and out of London

London lockdown
The lockdown was widely expected to dramatically limit movement (Picture: Getty/Rex)

Downing Street has dismissed suggestions of a travel ban in and around the capital.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘There are no plans to close down the transport network in London and there is zero prospect of any restrictions being placed on travelling in and out of London.’

It follows widespread reports of a major lockdown for the city, amid the escalating coronavirus crisis, which has seen London hit more dramatically than the rest of the country.

Today, up to 40 tube stations are being closed, with TfL announcing sweeping new measures to limit all but essential travel in the capital. Meanwhile, the government’s ‘shielding plan’ had been expected to see cars, trains, planes and buses halted if necessary – but now Downing Street has sought to ease fears that the measures would dramatically limit Londoners’ movements.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Beretta/Sims/REX (10587998o) Police on horses in London's Leicester Square Coronavirus outbreak, London, UK - 19 Mar 2020
The PM’s spokesperson suggested there was ‘zero prospect’ of travel restrictions in and out of London (Picture: Rex Features)

There have also been reports that police are on standby to prevent any possible looting, while officers could be stationed at supermarkets amid panic buying. The public are expected to be given 12 hours notice if a lockdown is put in place.

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The chief medical officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, has said that there are ‘significant health and social downsides’ to the social distancing measures.

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Speaking at a briefing today, he said: ‘If you do them too early you get all the negatives but almost an immeasurable impact on the epidemic.’

Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, added that it was ‘not possible’ to put absolute timelines on the pandemic.

This is a breaking story – more to follow.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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Source: Metro News UK

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