Rules explained as Greater Manchester added to Tier 2 in new COVID alert system
In the new tier system outlined by the Prime Minister yesterday, which separates areas by their risk level ('medium', 'high', and 'very high'), Greater Manchester and its 10 boroughs were placed into the second category, or Tier 2.
After days and weeks of speculation, rumour and hearsay surrounding the prospect of a second lockdown, the people of Greater Manchester have finally been given an official answer as to whether they can continue living their lives and running their businesses.
It’s a ‘yes’… but with a warning.
In the new tier system outlined by the Prime Minister yesterday – which separates England regions by their risk level (‘medium’, ‘high’, and ‘very high’) – Greater Manchester and its 10 boroughs were placed into the second category, or Tier 2.
The headline, of course, is that we avoided the harshest measures.
Cities and towns within Tier 2 do not have to close hospitality or non-essential stores – which means that pubs and restaurants will continue to trade as normal, despite initial fears they’d be shut down.
The government has now published the guidance for each tier online, as well as a full list of the regions that fall within each category.
Tier 1 – ‘Medium’ risk
Most places in England have been categorised in Tier 1 – areas where the risk of COVID transmission is considered ‘medium’.
Regions placed in Tier 1 must continue to follow national rules, which include:
The Rule of Six: People must not meet in groups larger than six, indoors or outdoors
A 10pm curfew for hospitality
Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru.
Many businesses and education facilities in this tier are permitted to remain open (except for the likes of nightclubs), with funerals and weddings permitted to go ahead with restrictions on attendee numbers.
Any location in England not listed below (in Tier 2 or Tier 3) is under Tier 1.
Tier 2 – ‘High’ risk
Greater Manchester has been placed in Tier 2.
This is for areas with a higher level of infections. Anyone within these regions must adhere to the rules of Tier 1 (Rule of Six, 10pm curfew etc) but 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 6 outside – including gardens
People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible and avoid peak times and public transport.
Businesses, pubs and bars remain open.
Currently, the places in England listed in Tier 2 include:
Tier 3, the ‘very high’ alert level, has seen the reintroduction of restrictions for areas where the virus is spreading quickly.
Locations in this category must:
Close pubs and bars; although restaurants may remain open
Ban wedding receptions
Avoid mixing with anybody outside a household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting
Avoid travelling outside the area except for work, education and youth services
Overnight stays in this area are also banned. Residents of Tier 3 locations should also avoid staying overnight in other parts of the UK.
According to the government, “consultation with local authorities will determine additional measures,” which means local leaders will need to decide if further restrictions will be necessary in the event that “baseline” measures prove ineffective.
Police search for Moors murder victim Keith Bennett resumes as ‘skull is found’
Police are back searching for Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett after a skull was reportedly found.
12-year-old Keith was snatched by notorious serial killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in 1964.
The pair’s victims were five children, Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans, all aged between 10 and 17 years old at the time of their murder.
The victims were buried on Saddleworth Moor, but Keith’s remains have never been found.
Now a major breakthrough may have come from an author, Russell Edwards, who alerted police to ‘potential human remains in a remote location’.
Specialist GMP officers have now begun initial exploration activity but say it is ‘far too early’ to confirm if human remains have been discovered.
Officers have also updated Keith’s brother Alan Bennett, who was just eight years old when his sibling vanished and who has dedicated much of his life to solving the mystery of the missing body.
MP Force Review Officer Martin Bottomley said: “At around 11.25am on Thursday 29 September 2022, Greater Manchester Police was contacted by the representative of an author who has been researching the murder of Keith Bennett, a victim of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.
“Following direct contact with the author, we were informed that he had discovered what he believes are potential human remains in a remote location on the Moors and he agreed to meet with officers yesterday afternoon to elaborate on his find and direct us to a site of interest.
“The site was assessed late last night and, this morning, specialist officers have begun initial exploration activity. We are in the very early stages of assessing the information which has been brought to our attention but have made the decision to act on it in line with a normal response to a report of this kind.
“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been discovered and this is expected to take some time.
“We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family. As such, we have informed his brother of the potential development – he does not wish to be contacted at this time and asks that his privacy is respected.”
A further GMP statement published by the Manchester Evening Newsadded: “We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family.
“Officers met with Mr Edwards yesterday evening (29th September) and he was able to locate a site of interest and provide us with further details of the work he has been carrying out.
“We are at the very early stages of assessing the evidence which he brought to our attention, but have taken the decision to excavate an area of land with a view to determining what lies there.
“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been uncovered, but out of respect for Alan Bennett, who we regularly maintain contact with, we have informed him of this potential development.
“Alan does not wish to be disturbed at this time and we would ask that his request for privacy is respected.”
Featured image: GMP
Question Time audience stunned as first-time buyer says mortgage quote DOUBLED
Thursday night’s Question Time audience could be heard audibly gasping after a fellow crowd member revealed that her mortgage quote had doubled followed the recent mini-budget.
Taping in Manchester on 29 September, the current events and politics programme was discussing property when would-be first-time buyer Rabia revealed that her mortgage offer had jumped from an initial amount of 4.5% interest to a shocking 10.5% in just a matter of days.
As you can see in the incredible clip, both the audience and the panel are taken aback at the revelation.
The Greater Manchester resident said she is desperate to know what the government’s plan for mortgages is as following the latest revision, she says she simply cannot afford to put the money down on her first home.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer weighed in on the social media reaction, quote tweeting the clip from his party’s own account and stating that “the Tories must get back to Parliament and reverse their kamikaze budget” as the current economic mess is being “paid for by working people”.
To make matters worse, Rabia was given no clarification from her lenders, only that they were pulling her offers. Conservative MP and Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities, Paul Scully had little information to offer her either, simply stating it is a short-term effect and that the market will stabilise.
Scully was subject to an entirely different reaction from the audience as well after his blind attempts to defend Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were met with laughter. Conversely, Richard Bacon was met with applause after he labelled the mini-budget “absurd”.
As if the anti-Tory sentiment wasn’t already at a high, the chancellor’s mini-budget – which saw the corporations, bankers and the generally wealthy benefit ahead of the working class – has seen fresh calls for a general election to be held as soon as possible.
Beyond declaring a so-called £2,500 limit on energy bills (which many have warned isn’t a guaranteed cap), there was seemingly very little in the way of policy that
For those still unclear as to what was announced in the divisive mini-budget, here is a quick summary:
Speaking in a speech at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, Starmer said that the government “haven’t just failed to fix the roof, they’ve ripped out the foundations, smashed the windows and now they’ve blown the doors off for good measure.