Harrow is “worryingly close” to entering Tier 3 lockdown restrictions, its council leader has said.

Cllr Graham Henson acknowledged that Harrow – along with all other London boroughs – will be placed in Tier 2 once the second nationwide lockdown ends on December 2.

Coming under the second highest risk level in new stricter tiers outlined by the Government, it means separate households are banned from meeting indoors, though groups of six can get together outside.

Pubs and bars will reopen until 11pm, but alcohol can only be served alongside a meal.

And Cllr Henson warned against complacency to protect “the health and wellbeing” of all residents in the borough.

It follows similar words from his counterpart in neighbouring Brent, Cllr Muhammed Butt, who pointed out London had “only scraped into Tier 2”.

The Brent Council leader said: “Covid has not gone away and is still a real and present threat – especially to older people and those with underlying health conditions.

“We could easily have been placed in the worse Tier 3 level. There is no doubt: London will enter that category – with harsher restrictions – if Covid cases don’t continue to fall.”

He also urged people to consider their actions over the Christmas period, and whether they want to “risk” seeing others after the Government announced a relaxation of the rules between December 23 to 27.

“Although our desire to see our loves ones is completely natural, we need to do all we can to remain careful – and not put those very same people at risk. Do not give the gift of Covid this Christmas,” he said.