London, the world's international financial capital, will enter a tighter COVID-19 lockdown from midnight tomorrow as Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeks to tackle a swiftly accelerating second coronavirus wave.
The respiratory pandemic, which emerged in China last year and has killed more than a million people worldwide, is spreading in most parts of Britain, whose official death toll of 43,155 is the highest in Europe.
Anger, though, is rising over the economic, social and health costs of the biggest curtailment of freedoms since World War II.
One former government adviser warned some people would have trouble clothing their children soon.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said London, which has a population of nine million, as well as the adjacent, heavily populated county of Essex, would be put on high alert Friday.