A "major incident" has been declared by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan as coronavirus cases are becoming "out of control" and threatening to overwhelm hospitals.

City Hall has said that growing infection rates are "putting immense pressure on an already stretched NHS", with the number of people on ventilators up from 640 to 908 in the week up to January 6. As many as 1 in 10 people in London have now contracted the virus. 

There are currently 7,034 people in hospital with COVID-19 in London, numbers that are 35% higher when put alongside those during the first peak of the pandemic in spring 2020, with The London Ambulance Service taking up to 8,000 emergency calls a day, up from 5,500 on a typical busy day. The reproductive 'R' rate has also risen from 1.1.-1.3 to 1.0-1.4.

Speaking to Sky News, Khan said: "Londoners continue to make huge sacrifices, and I am today imploring them to please stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary for you to leave. Stay at home to protect yourself, your family, friends and other Londoners and to protect our NHS."

All international passengers wanting to come into the UK will have to test negative for COVID-19 in the country they'r in, 72 hours before travelling to the UK, which includes travel by plane, train or boat.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that travellers "can't board without having that negative test", with arrivals from countries not on the travel corridor list still having to quarantine.

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