Manchester to have Tier 3 restrictions 'imposed' from Friday

20 October 2020 by
Manchester to have Tier 3 restrictions 'imposed' from Friday

Greater Manchester will be placed under Tier 3 restrictions from Friday, the prime minister has confirmed, despite no agreement on financial support being reached with local leaders.

Regulations will be laid before parliament on Thursday and come into force just after midnight.

It comes after 10 days of discussions between government and local leaders reached a stalemate.

Mayor Andy Burnham said ministers "walked away" from talks at 2pm on Tuesday after offering the region a £60m support package for businesses and workers, below the £65m requested by Manchester.

Burnham said this was the minimum amount needed to top up the furlough wages of people who were unable to work from two-thirds to 80%.

But Boris Johnson said the government had made a "generous and extensive offer" to help Manchester businesses. The region will now receive £22m, the baseline level for Tier 3 areas to cover Test and Trace and enforcement.

Johnson later clarified this was "separate and additional" to other support the government was trying to agree for businesses in the area.

He added: "Our door is open to continue that particular conversation."

The Tier 3 rules mean pubs and bars not serving ‘substantial meals' must close.

Real estate adviser Altus Group estimates this could lead to the closure of 1,800 pubs and 140 wine bars in Greater Manchester.

Burnham said he was still willing to do a deal, but it "cannot be on the terms the government has offered" today.

He added that people working in "pubs, bookies and driving taxis" whose livelihoods would be lost were "too often forgotten by those in power".

"People here have been living under restrictions for three months and they have taken a heavy toll," he said.

"To accept any further restrictions in these circumstances would be certain to increase levels of poverty, homelessness and hardship within our city region.

"How can we carry the public with us through this pandemic if we are forcing them to lose their income and place of work without supporting them through that?"

Covid tier system
Covid tier system

He added that the country needs "national unity" and called on parliament to intervene and make a judgment on financial support for Tier 3 lockdowns.

"Because make no mistake, this was not just about Greater Manchester. All parts of the country may find themselves in a Tier 3 lockdown at some point this winter."

Johnson said talks were continuing on moving South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and the north-east into the highest level of restrictions.

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