Following new lockdown rules that stop households from mixing indoors will prevent the spread of coronavirus and keep Barnet safe.

That was the message from Dr Tamara Djuretic, director of public health in Barnet, as the capital moves towards a Tier 2 lockdown.

The new measures, set to come into force from midnight on Friday, mean separate households will be banned from mixing indoors unless they are part of a support bubble.

It comes shortly after the borough’s seven-day Covid-19 infection rate rose above 100 cases per 100,000 people.

Dr Djuretic said: “Cases of Covid-19 are increasing in London and we need to take action now and do everything we can to slow the spread. Barnet is one of the 10 boroughs with the highest infection rates in London.

“Moving into Covid alert high (Tier 2) means you must not meet socially with friends and family in any indoor setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them. You can meet people outside from other households but only in groups of up to six people. Schools remain open and businesses will be open subject to existing rules.

“We must also keep following existing safety measures. Practising social distancing, good hand hygiene and adhering to government guidelines on the rule of six and wearing a face covering will make a real difference, as will self-isolating immediately if you display any symptoms of coronavirus and booking a test as soon as possible.

“I know that not seeing friends and wider family socially can have a huge impact on feelings of loneliness and can affect mental health. This won’t be easy for any of us, but if we pull together and follow all the rules, we can stop the virus spreading and keep Barnet safe.”

The council issued guidance explaining people will be able to continue seeing friends and family they do not live with outdoors, including in gardens – but will not be allowed to meet in a group of more than six.

Meeting in larger groups could lead to a fine of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences, up to a maximum of £6,400.

The council has urged people to continue following existing safety measures – washing hands, practising good social distancing and wearing face coverings – and to book a test if they show symptoms of Covid-19.

You can book a test here: