There will be a partial shutdown of London’s underground system beginning on Thursday as the capital makes preparations to slow the spread of coronavirus, according to Transport for London.
Up to 40 tube stations that do not interchange with other lines will be closed “until further notice” from Thursday.
Beginning on Friday, the Waterloo and City line will shut completely.
No tube or overground services will be running overnight on Fridays and Saturdays, however bus services will be available at these times for critical workers.
Late services will continue to run for “essential journeys” on both the tube and overground.
London buses will also operate fewer services.
Everyone is being advised to check the TfL website for live updates before they travel.
The underground stations which could shut tomorrow are:
- Lambeth North
- Regents Park
- Warwick Avenue
- Kilburn Park
- Charing Cross
- Holland Park
- Lancaster Gate
- Chancery Lane
- Great Portland Street
- Bow Road
- Stepney Green
- Mansion House
- St James’s Park
- Gloucester Road
- Swiss Cottage
- St John’s Wood
- Tuffnell Park
- Chalk Farm
- Mornington Crescent
- Goodge Street
- Clapham South
- Tooting Bec
- South Wimbledon
- Caledonian Road
- Covent Garden
- Hyde Park Corner
- Bounds Green
- Manor House
TfL said the reduced services would enable London’s critical workers to make essential journeys during the coronavirus outbreak.
It follows advice from the government earlier this week for everyone to stop all non-essential travel.
The government is also considering closing most shops in the capital by the weekend, according to Whitehall sources.
Pharmacies and supermarkets are expected to stay open under the tougher measures.
There are conversations happening in Downing Street tonight but no decision has formally been taken.
On Monday, the prime minister ordered Britons to avoid pubs, clubs, restaurants and theatres but no measures had been announced to close establishments.
Londoners have already been told to take social distancing measures “particularly seriously”, including working from home where possible, avoiding confined spaces, and not having any unnecessary social contact.
As of 9am on Wednesday, there were 2,626 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK – a rise of 676 in the last 24 hours.
Some 953 of those were in London, and the capital accounts for at least 35 of the 104 UK deaths.
The worst-affected London boroughs are Southwark with 70 cases, Westminster with 68 cases, and Lambeth with 61 confirmed cases.
The government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, has suggested there could be as many as 55,000 coronavirus cases already in the UK and 20,000 deaths or below would be a “good outcome”.
More than 200,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is monitoring the outbreak.
Mr Johnson is now holding daily televised news conferences in Downing Street to keep the public informed of the government’s response.
Earlier on Wednesday, the government announced all schools will close from Friday until further notice and exams and assessments will not be held this academic year.
Number 10 also said it would be rapidly increasing the number of coronavirus tests.
As many as 25,000 people within NHS hospitals will be tested for coronavirus every day.
The prime minister also called on companies to work with the government to rapidly develop a test to establish whether people have developed immunity, in order to help get NHS staff back to work as quickly as possible.
The World Health Organisation recently criticised national governments for not conducting enough tests on their populations.
In new laws to be introduced to the House of Commons this week, the government is also seeking widespread powers to tackle the public health crisis caused by COVID-19.
As well as enhancing powers for government, the legislation – named the Coronavirus Bill – will also scrap existing regulations in some areas should public services suffer mass staff shortages.
Among the powers being proposed is the ability for ministers to “restrict or prohibit events and gatherings… and, where necessary, to close premises”.