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Revellers have taken to the streets of London before the city is put into Tier 2 restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus.

A crowd was dispersed by police from the corner of Old Compton Street and Frith Street, London.

London will move into Tier 2 of the alert system from Saturday, banning people from separate households mixing indoors – including in pubs and restaurants.

More than half of England’s population will be under Tier 2 “high” or Tier 3 “very high” restrictions .

People socialise while drinking alcohol in Soho (Reuters)

The ban on households mixing indoors could be devastating for more than 5,000 pubs and almost 8,500 restaurants in the newly-designated Tier 2 regions, which will see business suffer but will not be eligible for Government support available to premises which have been ordered to close.

It comes as experts have warned that an immediate national circuit-breaker is needed in England to halt the spread of coronavirus and the Government’s three-tier system is “not enough to reverse growth”.

Scientific research group Independent Sage has set out what it describes as a six-week emergency plan to bring Covid-19 infection rates below 5,000-a-day.

Police officers walk past bars in Soho (Reuters)

On Friday, new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed there was an estimated average of 27,900 new cases per day of Covid-19 between October 2 and 8.

The blueprint from the group also calls for “urgent reform” of the NHS Test and Trace system.

More than half of England will be under Tier 1 and Tier 2 restrictions (Reuters)

Independent Sage’s proposals for a two to three-week lockdown include the immediate closure of schools, non-essential retail and businesses, the leisure and hospitality sectors (takeaways permitted) and places of worship.

It further calls for a return to two-metre physical distancing, a ban on household mixing outside of support bubbles and a switch to online teaching in universities.

The group adds that the circuit breaker should be followed by a period of continued restrictions sufficient to keep the R number below one while allowing schools to stay open.