Four northern leaders have called for more local input to bring down COVID-19 infection rates.
The four Core City leaders and mayors have written to health secretary Matt Hancock setting out a five point plan to better manage local lockdowns.
The proposals from the leaders of Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds, include:
- Local decision making to agree additional lockdowns before they happen;
- A locally controlled Test and Trace system;
- An improved Business Compensation Package;
- Financial support for everyone who needs to self-isolate; and
- Improved monitoring of the impacts of the additional restrictions.
The letter states: 'We are extremely concerned about the sharp increase in new COVID-19 cases in the Core Cities and the national responses to these. The existing restrictions are not working, confusing for the public and some, like the 10pm rule, are counter-productive.
'Instead, local measures, developed jointly across police, council enforcement and public health services, should be deployed to address rising infection rates based on local knowledge. As major cities we can also work together to provide a degree of consistency regionally, reducing public confusion. We want to be clear however that we do not support further economic lockdowns.'
The Government has moved to increase the influence of local political opinions in advance of it changing coronavirus restrictions after heavy criticism from councils.