It has been confirmed that a decision to place Greater Manchester into the Tier 3 ‘very high’ risk alert level has been delayed and that discussions are still “ongoing”.
It was announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock today.
The delayed decision comes amid a stalemate between the Department of Health and local leaders after the Treasury reportedly refused the request for more funding at a tense crunch meeting this morning.
Speaking in the House of Commons regarding Greater Manchester, Mr Hancock said: “No further decisions have yet been made, but we need to make rapid progress”.
He added that decisions are still “ongoing”.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham was due to make a statement live at 11am, with the Leader of Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese and Baroness Beverley Hughes, however word of this postponement arrived a few moments prior.
The delay also comes after Mr Burnham threatened to sue the government if the strictest tier of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are imposed on the region.
It’s believed that additional meetings are now due to take place.
The UK government’s new three tier lockdown restrictions system came into effect in England on Wednesday and as per Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s live address and press conference on Monday, Greater Manchester, along with other widespread areas of the North West including parts of Lancashire and Cheshire, was placed into Tier 2.
Under Tier 2 restrictions – which is also known as the ‘high’ alert level pertaining to the number of cases in the region – residents living in Greater Manchester must adhere to the rules of Tier 1 (‘Rule of Six’, 10pm curfew and necessary social distancing), and should also consider the following guidance:
- People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
- People can meet in groups of up to six outside – including private gardens.
- People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible and avoid peak times and public transport.
Unlike those areas placed under Tier 3 restrictions, businesses, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes are permitted to remain open.
The Liverpool City Region remains the only area in England currently under Tier 3 restrictions.
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