Covid: Manchester in limbo as deal deadline passes

20 Octobre, 2020, 23:03 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • The new restrictions would come into force early on Friday

The row over Greater Manchester's coronavirus status will end within days - either with a deal which could see tens of millions of extra funding for the region or with the imposition of harsh restrictions from Westminster.

He said a range of support had been offered to the region, including "more resources for local councils", greater involvement in contact tracing and the potential use of the military to assist local authorities.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has been fighting for more financial support for workers and businesses affected by the restrictions in his region of nearly 3 million people.

Restrictions on meeting other households indoors in any setting remain in place: you cannot meet in gardens under tier 3, but you can meet in public places such as parks, the countryside and forests in groups of up to six people (including children).

Business minister Nadhim Zahawi told Today £22m had been offered to Greater Manchester - equivalent to £8 per person - and there would be "additional support commensurate with what we have done in Liverpool City Region and in Lancashire".

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick warned civic chiefs on Monday night that they have until midday on Tuesday to reach a deal or face unilateral Government action.

"Obviously we'd have to accept that decision, in the end it's the Government's prerogative".

"I have written to local leaders this evening to make clear that if we can not reach agreement by midday tomorrow then I must advise the Prime Minister that despite our best endeavours we've been unable to reach agreement". We put forward a costed package of measures. but in particular, to support people on the lowest incomes, and people who are self-employed.

"This isn't just Greater Manchester's problem, is it?" Not to act would put Manchester's NHS and the lives of many residents at risk.

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In their statement, Mr Burnham and Sir Richard said they still hoped for a "positive outcome".

Burnham has been seeking more financial support for workers and businesses affected by the restrictions in his region of nearly 3 million people. That's what this is about.

He said: "Of course, we wouldn't break the law, we've never said that we would".

"People have been living under restrictions for three months and it's taking a heavy toll".

Mr Burnham will be under renewed pressure to accept a lockdown after the Guardian reported a leaked NHS document revealed Greater Manchester is set to run out of beds to treat those seriously ill with Covid-19 and that some of the region's 12 hospitals are already full. However, when questioned by Sky News over what he would do if the rules were imposed against his will, Mr Burnham admitted he would have to back down.

Mr Burnham was joined by several other local leaders while delivering the press conference.

He said "clear national entitlements" similar to during the first lockdown are essential to create the "sense of fairness" to ensure compliance with new restrictions.

Johnson's government is resisting a recommendation from its scientific advisers to have a short "circuit-breaker" lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The government has also announced the Local Restrictions Support Grant which provides businesses forced to close with up to £3,000 per month depending on the size of their company and value of their property.

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