Manchester moved into Tier three

Prime minister Boris Johnson has announced that Manchester will be placed into Tier 3 Covid-19 restrictions, after talks between mayor Andy Burnham and the UK government collapsed. 

As a result of being placed under Tier 3, pubs and restaurants must close unless they are supplying substantial meals and outside household mixing is forbidden. 

Johnson said he “bitterly regrets” the need to implement such restrictions, and stated he hopes the Mayor and local government officials will work alongside the UK government to help stop the spread of the virus. 

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It comes after both the government and local authorities had until midday today (20 October) to reach an agreement on tougher Covid-19 restrictions in Greater Manchester.

Johnson added he made a “generous” offer to support businesses that was proportionate to others made to the Liverpool City Region.

Johnson has also promised a comprehensive support package of £22m to those affected by business closures on top of the £1bn the government is providing in funding for local authorities across the whole country.

The prime minister had previously told senior cabinet members that he “sought to work constructively” with leaders across Greater Manchester, but “cases continue to be extremely high across the region”.

So far only Liverpool city region and Lancashire have obtained Tier 3 restrictions but the prime minister said discussions to move South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and the North East into Tier 3 will continue with local leaders.

This news follows a warning made yesterday by communities secretary, Robert Jenrick that if leaders failed to agree to pub closures and a ban on household mixing, the tier three measures would be brought in unilaterally.

According to the BBC, Jenrick accused Manchester mayor Andy Burnham of being “unwilling” to take the initiative needed to control the virus.

Local leaders in the city have been calling for greater support measures to help hospitality and other industries affected by another lockdown. 

It is the latest event in the series of efforts imposed by governments across the UK to limit the spread of Covid-19. Just yesterday (19 October), Welsh officials announced a two week “fire-break” which will force business closures across the country until 9 November.

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