Hundreds of people have been pictured at London's major train stations as they try to cram onto the last services out of the capital before Tier 4 rules hit.

This afternoon Boris Johnson announced stricter measures for the Christmas period after pressure to act on rising coronavirus cases.

People across London and the south-east will go up to a new Tier 4 of restrictions from midnight.

Areas in Tier 4 are effectively returning to the lockdown rules of November, and will not be able to join or form Christmas bubbles.

Tier 4 residents living in London and parts of the South East must not leave their area and will be subject to a legal stay at home order as of midnight tonight.

But hundreds are trying to get out of the capital ahead of midnight.

Photographs and video footage from London's biggest train stations show crowds of people with suitcases .

One woman at St Pancras tweeted: "As expected, train is crammed. Announcement on tannoy says social distancing 'will not be possible' due to volume and to get off if you are not comfortable with that.

"Everyone of course has suitcases. People have tried to secure social distancing by placing on seats but being asked to remove them by other passengers as the train is so full.

"To make matters worse, we've been told this train will be taken out of service at Derby. We will all get off and board a new train, no doubt mixing the virus amongst ourselves as we reorganise with new seat partners."

Another tweeted: "England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said people considering leaving Tier 4 areas now should unpack their bag and stay at home."

"Tier 4 Londoners in St Pancras right now:"

He then included a video of queues of people with their suitcases at London's St Pancras station.

The scenes were similar at King Cross station and Euston.

A Twitter user at Euston said: "So many people with suitcases at Euston - everyone’s trying to escape London."

What areas are in Tier 4?

The following areas will be under tier 4 from midnight:

  • Kent
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Berkshire
  • Surrey (excluding Waverley)
  • The boroughs of Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings
  • All 32 London boroughs and the city of London.
  • Bedford
  • Central Bedfordshire
  • Milton Keynes
  • Luton
  • Peterborough
  • Hertfordshire
  • Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring)