London Cinemas to Close as City Enters Top Tier of COVID-19 Restrictions

Cineworld
Courtesy of Cineworld

Cineworld in London's Leicester Square

Coronavirus cases have surged across the capital as the country battles against the second spike.

Cinemas across London will be forced to close again starting this Wednesday, with the government having told ministers that the city — and other select areas of England — are to move into the country's highest tier of coronavirus restrictions.

Previously at Tier 2, which allowed hospitality venues to remain open to some degree, London has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. Alongside cinemas and theaters, pubs, restaurants and bars will also be forced to shutter except for takeaway services, according to the BBC.

The counties of Essex, Kent and Hertfordshire will also move into Tier 3. Major cities such as Manchester had already been placed in this strict category.

The latest data showed almost 24,000 confirmed cases in London in a week, and cases rising in every borough of the city.

Health minister Matt Hancock is expected to make a formal statement in the House of Commons on Monday.

Last week, the U.K. became the first country in the world to give patients the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.