Police disperse Londoners on eve of lockdown

While the UK's death toll from the coronavirus rose on Wednesday by 492, the most since mid-May, London's Soho entertainment district was busy as locals sought one last night out before lockdown.

People will be ordered to stay at home from 0001 GMT on Thursday (November 5) to combat a surge in new infections that scientists say could, if unchecked, cause more deaths than a first wave that forced a three-month lockdown earlier this year.

The United Kingdom has the biggest official death toll in Europe from COVID-19 and is grappling with more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases a day. Scientists warned the "worst-case" scenario of 80,000 dead could be exceeded without action.

Even before Wednesday, data from restaurant bookings service OpenTable showed a surge in demand for London eateries during the run-up to the new lockdown.

Several English police forces used social media to urge people going out on Wednesday night to follow social-distancing rules.