By Karim El-Bar

LONDON (AA) – London could introduce a city-wide curfew to prevent a second wave of coronavirus, a health expert reported on Wednesday.

Professor Kevin Fenton, the London director of Public Health England, told the Evening Standard newspaper that the measure would be brought in order to prevent a more severe lockdown.

“Before we get to that stage there are many other things that you can do in order to help to reduce the risk of transmission and contain your outbreak,” Fenton said.

“In some areas which have seen resurgence there have been limits placed on the amount of time you can spend socialising. In some it might be local curfews so you’re not out drinking until the wee hours of the morning.

“By limiting that you also limit the amount of time people are spending in close contact with others.”

He added that these restrictions could be applied across London rather than just in local areas due to the flow of people. “For a few things it may require a pan-London approach, just because of how feasible it is to implement some of those interventions.”

The return of students was also a “challenge” he said, because over 500,000 students were expected to come to the city in coming weeks. This is especially difficult because coronavirus transmission rates were higher among those ages 17-29.

He said: “Getting back to normal life for young Londoners is associated with increased transmission.

“As we move into the winter period, when it’s inevitable that we will see an increase in cases, that vigilance and that commitment is really going to be required from all of us whatever age, whatever background, wherever you are in the city — we need to pull together.”

The British government also announced on Wednesday that a further 3,991 people tested positive for coronavirus across the UK over the past 24 hours, leading to a total of 378,219 cases. A further 20 people died over the past 24 hours, leading to a UK-wide death toll of 41,684.

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