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Rules which would ban movement between coronavirus hotspots around the UK could be used to prevent the spread of the disease, said Number 10.
Officials from Downing Street have confirmed that the measures would be considered to prevent a spike in new cases.
The powers could even include shutting down transport networks.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that it was “totally unacceptable” that the capital could be shut off from the rest of the country if there was a surge of new cases.
However, Downing Street said that no plans for London had been drawn up yet.
But, officials did say that measures which banned travel around England were one of the ways they could combat the spread of Covid-19.
The statements came as tourists were slammed for not following social distancing measures in Cornwall.
Some feared that the county would be put under local lockdown.
Photos from the last week show the streets of Cornwall filled with holidaymakers as thousands enjoyed the beaches in the sun.
Local leaders are asking people to maintain the two metre distance rule to prevent coronavirus from spreading.
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Officials drew up the “contain” framework in July.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister said that this set out “the possibility of putting in place restrictions on travel if there is an area that is particularly badly affected.”
They added: “One of the steps within that potentially includes closing down local transport networks.
“It’s there, it’s contained in the document, it’s not a new thing – we have informed the public and politicians of that being a potential action that we could take.
“But, to be clear, it’s not something that is specific to London or anywhere else.”
Under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 measures can be brought in which impose restrictions on gatherings.
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This includes limiting how many people can meet, whether they can travel in and out of an area to do so, and shutting down local or national transport systems, reports DevonLive.
Such regulations would need to be produced and approved of in parliament on a case-by-case basis.
Sadiq wrote to Boris Johnson after a Sunday Times report claimed the Prime Minister had attended a “war game” session with Rishi Sunak to run through options for a second wave in London.
One debated measure was using the M25 as a barrier around the capital city.
The letter from Sadiq and the chair of London Councils, Peter John, said: “Our surprise is that such far-reaching contingency plans have been discussed and tested without the involvement or awareness of London’s government.
“This is clearly totally unacceptable and an affront to London and Londoners.”
A senior scientist recently crisicised the UK response to coronavirus.
Sir Paul Nurse, director of the Francis Crick Institute, said that the Government needs to “treat the public as adults”.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “We have been sharing data extensively with local authorities and local public health teams in order to help inform the decisions that they are taking on dealing with outbreaks.
“More broadly there has been regular publication of documents relating to Sage’s discussions and minutes of meetings.”
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