Since the pandemic began thousands of fines have been issued by police in the capital to those in breach of Covid-19 restrictions.
BBC London went on patrol with officers in Tower Hamlets in east London, which has seen some of the highest infection rates in the country, to see if people are sticking to the rules.
Arsenal defender William Saliba has signed for Nice on loan for the rest of the season.
The 19-year-old joined the Gunners from Saint-Etienne for £27m in 2019 before being loaned back to the French top-flight club.
He has yet to play for Arsenal’s first team and there is a desire for the teenager to get more game time.
The French youth international signed a five-year deal with Arsenal and his long-term future remains at the club.
Nice, who are 12th in France’s Ligue 1, will pay all of Saliba’s wages while he is on loan and the deal does not include a fee.
Arsenal technical director Edu said the club are “confident” Saliba will have a “great career” with the Gunners.
“William experienced a very challenging time last year, with his playing time limited by injury and the early ending of the Ligue 1 season due to the pandemic,” he said.
“We will be keeping in close contact with William during his time with Nice and look forward to seeing him make good progress until the end of the season.”
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Tammy Abraham scored twice as Chelsea ended their recent mini-slump by beating West Ham United at Stamford Bridge to move up to fifth in the Premier League.
Back-to-back defeats had seen the Blues slip down the table but they made the ideal start on Monday as Thiago Silva powered home a header in the 10th minute.
Timo Werner spurned a couple of good chances to add to the hosts’ lead but he played his part in his side’s second 12 minutes from time as his scuffed shot was turned in by Abraham.
The Chelsea striker, back in the side in place of Olivier Giroud, then netted another barely two minutes later when he was in the right place to pick up the loose ball and curl home after Christian Pulisic had missed a simple header from a cross.
The scoreline somewhat flattered Chelsea with West Ham having been the better side for large periods, but the visitors paid the price for a lack of a cutting edge as they finished the game without a shot on target.
Victory means Chelsea have 25 points – one behind fourth-placed Everton – while West Ham remain 10th on 21 points.
“We’d dropped off slightly and it was important in this game we came back,” said Chelsea boss Frank Lampard. “There were loads of things for the team to show their character – we want more.”
An ankle injury to left-back Ben Chilwell, which saw him come off early in the game, was a minor blemish on the evening for Lampard, who also has right-back Reece James out with a knee problem.
“We hope both their injuries are not that bad and they will be in and around it for those Christmas fixtures,” he said.
Chelsea nervy but back to winning ways
Chelsea started this month being talked about as potential title contenders. They had topped the table after a win over Leeds, but losses to Everton and Wolves had left them in eighth and desperate to rediscover their early season form.
Silva’s early goal helped settle the nerves a little but their play soon became scrappy and West Ham took control instead.
However, Chelsea found the Hammers enduring a rare off day in front of goal – this was only the second time this season that David Moyes’ side had failed to score in the Premier League – and when Abraham slid in their second late on the Blues were able to breathe a sigh of relief.
It was a much-needed win for Lampard’s team, with the only real frustration the continued disappointing form of Werner in front of goal.
This was the eighth game in a row that the Germany international has failed to find the back of the net, with misses at the end of both halves very much those of a striker low on confidence, first hitting a tame effort from a good position at Lukasz Fabianski, then heading on to the crossbar when it looked easier to score.
“That’s the period Timo is in,” added Lampard.
“It’s unfortunate but he’s getting in the positions – when one goes in it will be a run for him. Tammy and Oli [Giroud] both bring different things. Tammy did his thing today and that’s what we needed.”
An off day for the Hammers
West Ham have developed into a disciplined and difficult side to beat under Moyes this season and quite rightly have their eye on finishing towards the upper end of the Premier League.
A win at Chelsea would have seen them leapfrog their opponents in the table, but that rarely looked likely as they struggled to create in the final third.
The presence of Michail Antonio in attack was missed as Sebastian Haller – who scored one of the best goals of the season so far in the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace last time out – was largely ineffective against the hosts’ defence.
Silva’s early goal was also the first time that West Ham’s normally well-drilled defence had conceded from a set-piece in 2020-21, underlining that this was a bad day at the office for them.
“It was a harsh scoreline but we were not good enough in our box and we weren’t good enough in their box when we had the opportunities,” Moyes said.
“Any small decisions did not go for us; the flow always went in Chelsea’s favour tonight.
“The players played really well. This was our biggest test so far this season. For the majority of it we played very well, but we didn’t do enough where it matters: the boxes.”
Abraham out in front – the stats
- Chelsea have lost just one of their past 13 home Premier League games, winning 10 and drawing two.
- West Ham failed to score for the first time in their past 10 away league matches, losing for just the third time on the road in that period.
- Chelsea have scored more goals from corners than any other team in the Premier League this season (eight).
- West Ham are the last Premier League team to concede from a set-piece this season. They last did so on 1 July, also against Chelsea, when Willian scored direct from a free-kick.
- Moyes is without a win in any of his 16 Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge, the joint-highest tally of any manager never to win at a stadium in the competition – level with his own record at Liverpool’s Anfield.
- Mason Mount made his 50th Premier League appearance for Chelsea on Monday, becoming the youngest English player (21 years 346 days) to reach this milestone for the club since John Terry in January 2002 (21 years 36 days).
- Abraham has scored 25 goals for Chelsea since the start of last season, seven more than any other Blues player.
- Werner has failed to score in his past seven starts for Chelsea, his longest such run in club competition since September 2016, between spells at Stuttgart and RB Leipzig (nine).
Chelsea travel to Arsenal in the league on Saturday, 26 December (17:30 GMT), while West Ham host Brighton on Sunday, 27 December (14:15).
West Ham United
- 6Thiago Silva
- 21ChilwellSubstituted forEmersonat 10′minutes
- 5JorginhoSubstituted forKovacicat 66′minutes
- 10PulisicSubstituted forHavertzat 84′minutes
- 20BowenSubstituted forFredericksat 90′minutes
- 18FornalsSubstituted forBenrahmaat 67′minutes
Match ends, Chelsea 3, West Ham United 0.
Second Half ends, Chelsea 3, West Ham United 0.
Substitution, West Ham United. Ryan Fredericks replaces Jarrod Bowen.
Timo Werner (Chelsea) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by N’Golo Kanté.
Substitution, Chelsea. Kai Havertz replaces Christian Pulisic.
N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Sébastien Haller (West Ham United).
Foul by Mason Mount (Chelsea).
Mark Noble (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Chelsea 3, West Ham United 0. Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the bottom left corner.
Attempt saved. Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) header from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mason Mount with a cross.
Goal! Chelsea 2, West Ham United 0. Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Timo Werner.
Attempt blocked. Timo Werner (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mason Mount.
Foul by Mason Mount (Chelsea).
Vladimir Coufal (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham United).
Foul by Emerson (Chelsea).
Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Timo Werner (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Christian Pulisic.
Millwall players will not take a knee before Tuesday’s Championship fixture against QPR but will stand arm-in-arm in a “show of solidarity for football’s fight against discrimination”.
It comes after some Millwall fans booed the players taking a knee before Saturday’s defeat by Derby at The Den.
Players of both teams will collectively hold up an anti-racism banner.
Millwall’s regular shirt sponsor will be replaced with the logo of anti-discrimination body Kick It Out.
In a statement, Millwall said: “Millwall believe that this gesture, which the club hopes to repeat with other visiting teams in the coming weeks and months, will help to unify people throughout society in the battle to root out all forms of discrimination.
“Millwall have a zero-tolerance policy against racial and all other forms of discrimination and want to again make clear to anybody who holds such views that you are not welcome at this football club. Millwall’s stance, as always, is that anybody found guilty of racial abuse is banned for life.”
The decision came after a meeting on Monday between both clubs, Kick It Out, Show Racism The Red Card, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), the Football Association (FA) and the English Football League (EFL).
Some QPR players will take the knee before Tuesday’s game at The Den, despite having stopped the gesture earlier this season after director of football Les Ferdinand said its impact had “been diluted”.
Players, officials and staff at Premier League and EFL games have been taking a knee pre-match since football restarted in June in order to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement for racial equality.
The Den was able to host 2,000 home fans for the first time this season after the second national lockdown was lifted but the return of spectators was overshadowed by the booing, with which Millwall said they were “dismayed and saddened”.
The Millwall Supporters’ Club said the booing was not motivated by racism, but instead in opposition to the political views held by the Black Lives Matter organisation.
The FA has confirmed it is investigating the incident at Millwall, and a similar one at Colchester United’s League Two game against Grimsby Town.
If it finds that the actions were discriminatory, the clubs could face fines.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club, former England defender Micah Richards said booing is “not acceptable”.
“Millwall fans, from their point of view, this whole movement is becoming political. They’re saying they don’t think the players at their club should want to kneel because of what Black Lives Matter represents in their mind,” he said.
“If they’re booing that, it’s not acceptable, but it’s free speech and that is their opinion, but I think people are taking Black Lives Matter in a different context and changing the actual narrative of what it’s all about.
“When the players are taking the knee they are not saying black lives matter and they are any better than white lives, they are trying to say it’s a stand for equality and unity and that is why they are taking the knee.”
BBC Sport football reporter Simon Stone
Sources described this evening’s meeting as “difficult but productive”.
It is understood the PFA was critical of the EFL’s perceived lack of involvement, a feeling many at the club share, having told it beforehand of what they feared was likely to happen at The Den on Saturday.
There are many unanswered questions for football and Millwall in particular and evidently solutions will not be easy.
However, the sense of desperation hanging round the club on Monday has now been replaced by a mixture of trepidation and optimism.
No-one at the club can be entirely sure of what will happen when the QPR players take a knee as planned before kick-off but the noises among fans on social media who backed the booing on Saturday is that these measures should be supported.
Millwall can only hope this is what happens. Because if what happened on Saturday is repeated, even insiders know the damage to the club will be catastrophic.
Tributes have been paid to three British nationals who died when a Ukrainian plane crashed in Iran.
Mohammed Reza Kadkhoda Zadeh, who owned a dry cleaners, BP engineer Sam Zokaei and PhD student and engineer Saeed Tahmasebi were all on board the flight.
They were among the 176 people from seven countries who died in the crash.
Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 crashed just after taking off from Imam Khomeini airport at 06:12 local time (02:42 GMT).
The airline said the plane underwent scheduled maintenance on Monday.
A Downing Street spokesman said the UK was “working closely with the Ukrainian authorities and the Iranian authorities” over the crash, and there was “no indication” the plane was brought down by a missile.
As well as the three Britons, the victims in the crash included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians – including all of the crew, 10 Swedes, four Afghans and three Germans, Ukraine foreign affairs minister Vadym Prystaiko said.
Rescue teams have been sent to the crash site but the head of Iran’s Red Crescent told state media that it was “impossible” for anyone to have survived the crash.
Tributes were paid locally to Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh, 40, who ran a neighbourhood dry cleaners in Hassocks, West Sussex, and had a nine-year-old daughter.
Steve Edgington from the pet shop next door said he had known Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh for 14 years, and described him as a lovely, hardworking man who was good at his job and loved by staff.
Savvas Savvidis, 36, who rented a room in Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh’s home in Brighton, said he was a “super-nice person”.
“It’s so sad. Before he left we had a conversation, he told me that he spent all his life working, working really hard, and now finally he wants to start to enjoy life a bit more.”
Mr Savvidis described Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh as a humble man who loved his daughter very much.
The dry cleaners closed on Wednesday, with neighbouring businesses telling the BBC that staff were too upset to stay open.
Meanwhile, in a statement, BP said “with the deepest regret” that its employee Mr Zokaei, 42, from Twickenham, was among the passengers.
Mr Zokaei had been on holiday. He had worked for BP for 14 years and was based at the company’s site in Sunbury-on-Thames in Middlesex.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic loss of our friend and colleague and all of our thoughts are with his family and friends,” BP said.
A friend of Mr Zokaei, who did not wish to be named, told the BBC they were “still in shock”.
“He was a highly accomplished person. Very clever and very friendly. Always smiling and full of positive energy. He will be sorely missed.
“He was always trying new adventures. He cycled and toured Europe on bikes a few times. He also loved travelling to interesting far out places.”
Also killed was Mr Tahmasebi, 35, who worked as an engineer for Laing O’Rourke in Dartford.
Last year, Mr Tahmasebi married his Iranian partner, Niloufar Ebrahim, who was also listed as a passenger on the plane.
“Everyone here is shocked and saddened by this very tragic news,” said Laing O’Rourke.
“Saeed was a popular and well respected engineer and will be missed by many of his colleagues. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this most difficult time and we will do all we can to support them through it.”
‘Humble and generous’
Mr Tahmasebi – whose full name was Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi – was also a part-time PhD student at Imperial College London’s Centre for Systems Engineering and Innovation.
A spokeswoman for the university said: “We are deeply saddened at this tragic news. Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi was a brilliant engineer with a bright future.
“His contributions to systems engineering earned respect from everyone who dealt with him and will benefit society for years to come.
“He was a warm, humble and generous colleague and close friend to many in our community. Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Saeed’s family, friends and colleagues, as well as all those affected by this tragedy.”
At Prime Minister’s Questions earlier, Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn both said their thoughts were with the families of those killed.
A UK Foreign Office spokesman has said: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of life in the plane crash in Iran overnight.”
They said it was “urgently seeking confirmation” about how many British nationals were on board and would be supporting any families affected.
Melinda Simmons, British ambassador to Ukraine, said her thoughts are with those affected.
Ukraine’s state aviation service has forbidden its national airlines from using Iranian airspace from Thursday, with the restrictions in place until an investigation into the cause of the crash has concluded.
Ukraine’s embassy in Tehran and Iranian state television both initially said technical issues caused the crash.
But the embassy later removed this statement and said any comment regarding the cause of the accident prior to a commission’s inquiry was not official.
Ukraine said its entire civilian aviation fleet would be checked for airworthiness and criminal proceedings would be opened into the disaster.
The country’s president warned against “speculation or unchecked theories regarding the catastrophe” until official reports were ready.
Ukrainian International Airlines said the flight disappeared from radar just a “few minutes” after take-off.
The Ukrainian national carrier said according to preliminary data there were 167 passengers and nine crew members on board but its staff were “clarifying the exact number”.
“The airline expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the air crash and will do everything possible to support the relatives of the victims,” a statement said.
The airline, which is investigating the crash, said the aircraft – a Boeing 737-800 – was built in 2016 and had its last scheduled maintenance on Monday.
There was no sign of any problems with the plane before take-off and the airline’s president said it had an “excellent, reliable crew”.
A statement from Boeing said its “heartfelt thoughts” were with all those affected following the “tragic event”.
There are several thousand Boeing 737-800s in operation around the world which have completed tens of millions of flights. They have been involved in 10 incidents, including this crash, where at least one passenger was killed, aviation safety analyst Todd Curtis told the BBC.
This is the first time a Ukraine International Airlines plane has been involved in a fatal crash.
Thousands of performers from 20 different countries have taken part in London’s annual New Year’s Day Parade.
Half a million people were expected to line the route of the 34th annual parade.
About 10,000 performers entertained flag-waving crowds along the route from Green Park to the Houses of Parliament.
The event’s executive director Bob Bone said: “We wanted to show the world just how much joie de vivre we have to offer.”
He added: “London is just bursting with energy, creativity and… life.”
The parade has raised more than £1.5m for mayoral charities across London since it started in 1986.
Sutton Council won the £65,000 prize for best performance based around the theme of “London Loves Life”. About 20 London boroughs entered the competition.
All images copyrighted.
Christmas dinners have been served to Londoners who are reliant on the city’s homelessness services.
Hairdressers and opticians were also made available at City Hall before guests were given a three-course meal.
Last year, 8,855 people were seen rough sleeping in London, an 18% increase since last year, and more than double the number in 2010.
“Events like this help bring a sense of community back in to London,” Claire, a former rough sleeper, told the BBC.
Claire, who spent 30 years either living on the streets or in prison, said: “It’s the type of event that does matter. It forms partnerships and builds bonds.
“If it wasn’t for the support of St Mungo’s, I’d either be dead or doing what I was before.”
Guests were chosen from the thousands of Londoners that currently receive assistance from services funded by City Hall and delivered by charities St Mungo’s and Thames Reach.
But Claire said services were still “hit and miss”.
“Where I live I’m still waiting for support with my mental health,” she added.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “St Mungo’s and Thames Reach are struggling with finances.
“Since I became mayor we’ve more than doubled the amount of money we’ve spent on rough sleeping and the size of our outreach team.
“But we’re just scratching the surface. We’ve not got the money or the resources to do much more – as it is I’m criticised for going outside my remit and my power.
“It is both heartbreaking and shameful that in one of the richest cities in the world we still have the levels rough sleeping that we do.”
Last year 15,470 people were accepted as being homeless by London councils.
There were 55,000 families living in temporary accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts and hostels.
Hundreds more people are estimated to be sleeping on London’s night buses.
Petra Salva, Director of Rough Sleeper Services at St Mungo’s, said: “It’s wonderful that the Mayor has opened the doors of City Hall for this festive event.
“Christmas can be a time of mixed emotions for clients in our services and our staff work hard to support those who stay with us over the holiday period.”