London's roads and Tube are quiet on first working day of the New Year

Londoners are following Government advice to stay at home and avoid going into the office, data suggested today as it emerged Underground journeys are now at just a fifth of pre-pandemic levels.

Public transport usage is now at 20 per cent for the Tube and 34 per cent for buses - also well down compared to the first day of tier four last month, December 16, which had levels of 31 per cent and 53 per cent respectively.

And on the first working day of 2021, traffic data from TomTom showed congestion was at less than 20 per cent during rush hour this morning, compared to an average of 53 per cent at the same time last year.

The lack of cars on the road and passengers on public transport has now doubt been affected by all London primary schools remaining shut this week as the capital battles with high levels of coronavirus infections.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has backed the prospect of a third national lockdown, telling Sky News and LBC today that Conservative former health secretary Jeremy Hunt was correct with his calls for the new measures. 

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Mr Khan said: 'The Government must do whatever it takes to deal with the virus. Time and again it's been shown that it's better to act early than to act late. A full national lockdown would save lives and help protect our NHS.' 

It comes as cases rose in two-thirds of London boroughs over Christmas, with the number of Covid-19 patients in London hospitals hitting a peak of 5,524 last Wednesday, above the first wave peak of 5,201 on April 9.

Southwark station in Central London was eerily quiet today with no one to be seen on the Jubilee line platform

Southwark station in Central London was eerily quiet today with no one to be seen on the Jubilee line platform

A man is seen next to the ticket gates at London Waterloo Underground station today as the capital continues in tier four

A man is seen next to the ticket gates at London Waterloo Underground station today as the capital continues in tier four

The roads are very quiet in London's Waterloo outside The Old Vic theatre today as people continue to stay at home

The roads are very quiet in London's Waterloo outside The Old Vic theatre today as people continue to stay at home

The number of new cases per 100,000 people in the capital has increased to a record of 902.5, up from 817 one week ago. This is more than double the average figure for England of 400 cases per 100,000 people.

Seven boroughs of London saw significant increases of more than a quarter in weekly new cases, with Brent up by 32 per cent and Ealing, Barnet, Sutton and Newham all up 27 per cent, reported the Evening Standard.

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Other areas of the capital suffering were Harrow, up 25 per cent, and Hounslow, up 26 per cent. Meanwhile Barking and Dagenham had the highest rate of new cases in London at 1,298 per 100,000 people.

But there was some good news in that overall cases in London are rising more slowly than during the run-up to Christmas, with a 10 per cent rise in the week to December 30 after they nearly doubled up to December 20. 

Yesterday there were 81 people in London who died within 28 days of the positive test, which leaves the capital with a total death toll of at least 8,692. Some 463 deaths have been recorded over the past week.

A quiet Jubilee line train on the London Underground in the capital today as tier four restrictions remain in place

A quiet Jubilee line train on the London Underground in the capital today as tier four restrictions remain in place

A handful of people are seen on the platform and on a Jubilee line train at Southwark station in Central London today

A handful of people are seen on the platform and on a Jubilee line train at Southwark station in Central London today

An empty set of escalators at London Waterloo station on the London Underground today as tier four remains in place

An empty set of escalators at London Waterloo station on the London Underground today as tier four remains in place

All of London's primary schools and those in some surrounding areas worst hit by Covid-19 will not reopen until January 18, with students elsewhere in England expected to return to class this week. 

Mr Khan said Ministers must 'get a grip' on people arriving in the UK from abroad to

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