Lancashire’s £42 million Tier 3 deal sees gyms and hair salons remain open

It has been confirmed this morning that a deal has been reached to move Lancashire into Tier 3 under the government’s new restrictions scheme.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has revealed that an agreement was reached at around 10am today (16th October), which will see the whole county move into the ‘very high’ alert level.

The move was announced by the Department of Health and Social Care today.

Pubs and bars which do not sell “substantial meals” have been ordered to close, along with casinos, betting shops, bingo halls, bookmakers and soft play centres, but in a move different to the Liverpool City Region – which up until now has been the only area in England under Tier 3 measures – gyms, leisure centres, hair salons and barber shops will be permitted to remain open.

The new measures which will come into place from 00.01 on Saturday 17th October are:

  • People must not socialise with anybody they do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events.
  • People must not socialise in a group of more than six in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue.
  • All pubs and bars must close, unless they are serving substantial meals.
  • People should try to avoid travelling outside the ‘very high’ alert level or entering a ‘very high’ alert level area, other than for work, education or for caring responsibilities or to travel through as part of a longer journey.
  • Residents should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK, and others should avoid staying overnight in the ‘very high’ alert area.

In addition, from Monday 19th October:

  • The adult gaming industry, casinos, bingo halls, bookmakers and betting shops, and soft play areas must close.
  • Car boot sales will not be permitted.

The county has secured £42 million out of the £58.2 million it was seeking as a package of financial support for businesses, the care sector and schools.

Initially, only £12 million was said to be on the table from central government.

At present, Greater Manchester still remains under Tier 2 restrictions, with no formal indication as to when a decision is to be brought about.

It comes after after an announcement to place the region into the Tier 3 ‘very high’ risk alert level was delayed yesterday. The delayed decision is the result of 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.

Speaking in the House of Commons regarding Greater Manchester yesterday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “No further decisions have yet been made, but we need to make rapid progress”.

He added that decisions are still “ongoing”.

This was then followed by a later statement delivered by Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, the Leader of Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese and Deputy Mayor Baroness Beverley Hughes.

Local leaders remain resolute in their unanimous opposition to Greater Manchester’s proposed shift upwards in the government’s flagship tier system – demanding a superior financial package to the one that’s on the table – but they know the decision is ultimately out of their hands.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab weighed in live on BBC Breakfast this morning as the row between Greater Manchester and the government continues, and accused Andy Burnham and the region of “pulling up the drawbridge”.

Andy Burnham has a few moments ago also released a joint statement together with the Metro Mayors of Liverpool and North Tyne – Steve Rotherham and Liam Driscoll.

They claimed that the north “is not divided” and that they are all together in a “fight for what’s right”.

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For the latest information, guidance and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, please do refer to official sources at gov.uk/coronavirus.

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