What we know this morning about Greater Manchester’s new coronavirus restrictions
Measures came into force at midnight putting tighter restrictions on social gatherings in Greater Manchester and other parts of the north, banning residents from separate households from meeting indoors.
Measures came into force at midnight putting tighter restrictions on social gatherings in Greater Manchester and other parts of the north; banning residents from separate households from meeting indoors.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock made the sudden announcement yesterday evening (30 July), explaining that people in certain areas would no long be permitted to congregate due to a rise in COVID-19 cases across these regions.
The areas to which the ban applies are:
Blackburn with Darwen
The new guidelines, which were enforced in Greater Manchester following discussions with local Mayor Andy Burnham, will apparently be reviewed on a weekly basis.
Local authorities and police will have the power to enforce the rules whilst they remain in place, and anyone caught breaching them can face a £100 fine.
News of the indoor ban was initially published in short bursts via Twitter with little context, leaving residents confused as to whether they were still allowed to go to work, enter shops or visit pubs and restaurants.
But more details have been published this morning.
Can I meet with others in the a bar, restaurant, cafe or garden?
The new rules state that no two households should meet indoors in any premises.
According to the latest information, cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants will continue to remain open – but no two households should visit these public places together.
Different households are also banned from mixing in gardens.
People can, however, continue to meet with their ‘support bubbles’.
Anyone who lives alone or with dependent children (aged under 18) is permitted to be in a support bubble with another household.
Can I go to work?
As for work, nothing has changed.
The Government stated: “People living inside and outside of this area can continue to travel in and out for work” but social distancing guidelines must be adhered to.
I’m shielding; do I need to continue?
Originally, shielding guidance was set to end on 1 August.
However, the Government has now said that people should continue to shield in “Blackburn with Darwen in the North West and other local affected areas across England where shielding continues.”
Can funerals and weddings in Manchester still go ahead?
These types of gatherings are permitted to continue.
No more than 30 people should attend a marriage ceremony or funeral.
For weddings, any congregation after the ceremony “should involve no more than two households in any location or, if outdoors, up to six people from different households.”
Can I share a car with people outside my household?
The Government is discouraging this.
However, if car-sharing is necessary, drivers should thoroughly clean their vehicles before and after each trip, open the windows, avoid carrying different passengers, and ensure everyone inside wears face masks.
Can I still visit a place of worship?
This is allowed, but you must socially distance from people outside of your household and wear a face mask if closer than 2m apart.
The Health Secretary said these actions had been taken with “a heavy heart”.
“We’re constantly looking at the latest data on the spread of coronavirus, and unfortunately we’ve seen an increasing rate of transmission in parts of Northern England,” Mr. Hancock explained.
“We’ve been working with local leaders across the region, and today I chaired a meeting of the Local Action Gold Committee. Based on the data, we decided that in Greater Manchester, parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire we need to take immediate action to keep people safe.
Andy Burnham said: “The picture in Greater Manchester has changed over the past 7 days.
“We now have a rising rate in 9 out of 10 boroughs.
“We had concluded ourselves that something needed to be done.”
He also called on residents to “protect one another” by observing the new requirements.
“They will be reviewed weekly; meaning the more we stick to them, the quicker they will be removed,” the Mayor commented.
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.