Crowds party in London's Leicester Square as pubs close at 10pm

Moment revellers spill onto the streets and crowds party in Leicester Square as pubs and bars close at 10pm under Covid restrictions – amid warnings from Sadiq Khan that the Capital will be put under ‘inevitable’ lockdown

  • Crowds were seen dancing together in the street on Leicester Square on Friday 
  • Footage taken just hours after Sadiq Khan said tighter measures were ‘inevitable’
  • Two police officers can be seen circling the crowd and are met with boos  
  • London’s infection rate is just 59 per 100,000 people, the same as it is UK-wide

Shocking footage has shown revellers spilling out onto the streets and partying in Leicester Square after pubs and bars nearby closed as part of the 10pm Covid-19 curfew.

Crowds were seen gathering in the Capital just hours after Sadiq Khan said tighter lockdown measures were ‘inevitable’.

Footage taken last night showed groups of men and women dancing outside the Global radio company, which is based in Leicester Square.

Revellers could be heard singing along to music as they gathered around a busker playing the drums.

Despite bars and pubs being forced to close at 10pm, music could be heard playing through a speaker – gaining the attention of visitors to the London landmark.

Crowds spilling out from pubs and bars near Leicester Square were seen gathering on Friday night, paying no heed toward social distancing

Two police officers can be seen circling the crowd before wading in, to be met with boos and jeers from the crowd.

Moments later the two officers are seen walking away. 

Shocked viewers on Twitter asked: ‘When will people realise they’re making things worse?’ 

The scenes in Leicester Square came just hours after Sadiq Khan warned tougher lockdown measures in London are ‘inevitable’ as data revealed that Richmond-upon-Thames has become the capital’s new Covid-19 hotspot.

Two police officers can be seen to the left of the crowd, they were met with boos after trying to interrupt the crowd

Within seconds of approaching the crowd, both officers could be seen walking away, met with cheers from some of the crowd – just hours after Sadiq Khan said London-wide lockdown measures were ‘inevitable’

The London Mayor said any new restrictions would be imposed city-wide rather than borough-by-borough because ‘it’s the most effective way to reduce the spread of this virus’. 

Mr Khan said his best guess was that London would be hit with new rules sometime next week when the Government officially unveils its three-tier traffic light system for local lockdowns.  

He warned it was important to curtail the virus’s spread in the city before the pandemic gets to levels ‘we saw in March and April’.   

Sadiq Khan said his best guess was that London would be hit with new rules sometime next week

But figures show London’s infection rate is just 59 per 100,000 people, which is the same as it is UK-wide and a fraction of the rates seen in hotspots in the North, where it’s as high as 550 per 100,000. 

Mr Khan told LBC Radio today: ‘My prediction is there will be more restrictions being brought in because we don’t want to see in October and November what we saw in March and April.

‘What’s clear to me is that it’s inevitable there will be additional restrictions in London. What we are discussing as ‘One London’ is what we think the right level should be and work with government to make sure we have the right level there.’

Richmond-upon-Thames is London’s new Covid-19 hotspot, data has revealed amid fears the capital’s outbreak is just four weeks behind the troubled North West. Pictured are infection rates in London in the week to October 5

Infection rates appear to be rising all over London, reaching higher levels in the west. Pictured are infection rates in London in the week to September 28

For the first part of the pandemic, poorer parts of London, such as Newham and Brent, were hit worse by Covid-19, which scientists believe may be down to residents living in crowded homes where the disease spreads and being key workers, meaning they couldn’t shelter at home. 

But now, Covid-19 is now hitting the wealthier boroughs of London, with Westminster, Wandsworth, Bromley and Hammersmith and Fulham all now seeing infection rates well above 50 per 100,000.  

A statistical report published by the Government last month revealed coronavirus infections are soaring twice as quickly in the most well-off districts of England – particularly in white, wealthy under 35s. 

London’s outbreak as a whole now shows signs of speeding up with the crisis in the North West, the worst affected part of England where cities Manchester and Liverpool and Blackpool are now battling some of the biggest Covid-19 outbreaks.  

HOW FAR BEHIND IS LONDON FROM THE NORTH WEST? 

The data shows how the infection rate in London and the North West have increased each week between July 5 and October 4.

LONDON

3.5

3.6

4.8

6.0

6.8

7.3

10.0

13.0

14.0

22.9

24.5

26.7

44.5

59.9

NORTH WEST

2.2

2.7

2.8

2.5

3.3

5.1

8.2

9.6

16.1

42.2

52.5

98.4

164.5

240.9

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