Ann McGauran 15 October 2020

Manchester leaders unite to oppose Tier 3 restrictions

Local leaders across Greater Manchester have rejected plans to put the region into Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions.

In a joint statement released yesterday, the Mayor, deputy mayors and all 10 Greater Manchester leaders said they had 'communicated our clear and unanimous view to the Government: it is wrong to place some of the poorest parts of England in a punishing lockdown without proper support for the people and businesses affected'.

They added: 'To do so will result in certain hardship, job losses and business failure. it will cause harm in a different way - to people's mental health - and it is not certain to control the virus.'

The statement said that deputy chief medical officer Professor Van-Tam had told Greater Manchester leaders that to bring infection rates down 'would require widespread closures way beyond pubs to stand any chance of working'. They would also have to be 'done in tandem with other neighbouring regions - and, even then, it would not be certain to work'.

It added: 'But here's the point: the Government is not giving city-regions like ours and the Liverpool City Region the necessary financial backing for full lockdowns of that kind. That is why we have unanimously opposed the Government's plan for tier 3 - they are flawed and unfair.' 

In another statement, the leaders of all seven councils in Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and County Durham, along with the North of Tyne Mayor and the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner outlined their opposition to any decision that could be taken nationally to move the region into the the highest tier three alert level.

Liverpool is currently the only region with the highest tier of restrictions, with measures including a closure of pubs and bars unless they are serving substantial meals, and people not able to meet anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting.

Barrow-in Furness, York, north-east Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield will move into tier two restrictions from Saturday with London, Essex and Elmbridge.

For more on this story, visit The MJ (£).

Update: Lancashire has also moved to Tier 3 coronavirus alert level after a support package to help minimise the impact on businesses and residents was agreed.

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