Coronavirus 'Tier 3' lockdown: Hotspots could face strict measures for SIX MONTHS as pubs and gyms set to close
LIVERPOOL looks set to be the first area to go into the strictest level of England's new three-tier lockdown system – and the measures could last SIX months.
If plans are given the green light by the Prime Minister, pubs, bars and gyms will shut, only one household or bubble will be allowed to meet up indoors, and travel in or out of the affected area will be limited.
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Restaurants, schools and universities will stay open.
Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire are expected to follow Liverpool into tough new laws in the coming weeks.
But Steve Rotherham, Labour mayor of the Liverpool City region, has tonight hit out at the claims – and says no agreement has been reached with the Government.
And the final arrangements won't be formally made until tomorrow, meaning the situation may still change overnight.
"Government have been clear from the start that they plan on placing the Liverpool City Region in tier three and plan on announcing this tomorrow," Mr Rotherham said.
"No agreement has yet been reached on this point and negotiations are ongoing."
And a statement has been issued by leaders of Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council, Blackpool Council and the 12 Lancashire district councils.
They said: "We share the same objectives with central government– to protect our residents, to protect our economy and to protect our NHS.
"But we do need more detail from government about their proposals, and in particular what the differences will be between the tiers in the planned new system."
Local leaders have held calls with top officials to ask for a monthly review of the situation, Sky News reports.
The move has yet to be signed off by Boris Johnson, who will make a national address about the new three-tier lockdown tomorrow.
It comes as the PM this evening holds a telephone conference with Cabinet members.
Mr Johnson's decision to brief Cabinet ministers on a Sunday is a rare move – and Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese says there's a "large gulf" in discussions about new restrictions.
He told Times Radio: "We seem to have an almost impossible task of penetrating the Westminster bubble."
Liverpool recorded the second-highest infection rate in the country in the two weeks to October 4.
There were 4,593 confirmed cases, or 928.2 per 100,000 people.
The neighbouring council area of Knowsley was top, with 1,412 cases and an infection rate of 944.
Northern leaders have begged the PM not to shut pubs on Monday, saying "coronavirus restrictions are beginning to work".
Chief strategic adviser Sir Edward Lister wrote to MPs following a meeting with council chiefs on Thursday.
In a letter shared online, Sir Edward stated that "rising incidence" of Covid in parts of the country mean it is "very likely" that certain local areas will face "further restrictions".
The letter adds: "The government will discuss a set of measures with local leaders all of which present difficult choices."
But five MPs have warned about the "devastating impact" of shutting businesses such as pubs.
In a letter, they said "jobs, livelihoods and businesses" would be damaged and that it would lead to more illegal gatherings.
They argued that a big proportion of cases were among students and confined to halls of residence.
The proposed system is expected to see different parts of England put in different categories, with areas in the highest level facing the toughest measures.
Daily Covid-19 cases across the UK have fallen by more than 2,000 in the past 24 hours as 12,872 test positive for the virus and 65 die.
Cases have nearly tripled in the past two weeks — with a total of 603,716 people now having tested positive for coronavirus in Britain.
Meanwhile, one of the main medical advisers to the British Government has warned that the country is at a 'tipping point' in its battle with the pandemic.
England's deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said in a statement that Brits are in a similar position to the one reached in March.
What will the PM say tomorrow?
Boris Johnson will make a national address to warn Brits of new lockdown measures tomorrow
The PM is poised to order pubs and restaurants to shut in a bid to curb the spread of the virus in an announcement tomorrow.
Under a proposed three-tier system, different parts of the country would be placed in different categories, with areas in the highest level expected to face the toughest restrictions.
It means ten million Northerners could be back under a tougher lockdown if they fall into Tier 3 of the plans.
New stricter rules are set to come in, ordering people to not mix indoors and outdoors in the worst hits parts of the country.
Beauty salons and sports venues could also be closed down in the severe regional lockdown as coronavirus cases rise in Northern England, reports The Telegraph.
The UK has experienced Europe's deadliest outbreak with more than 42,750 deaths.
Professor Van-Tam urged people to stick to key social distancing and hygiene measures to keep transmission low and stop the NHS being overwhelmed.
The decision to enforce further tough measures in the north comes after shocking new Government graphs showed the north-west and north-east are at breaking point.
However, the south of England has seen infection rates remain broadly stable.
Professor Chris Whitty said the two regions had seen a “rapid increase” in infections – despite large swathes of both areas being under local lockdown.
But earlier this week, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer handed Mr Johnson 'proof' that regional shutdowns 'don't work'.
During a fiery clash in the Commons, Sir Keir said: "Today is 100 days since the first local restrictions were brought in.
"20 local areas have been under restrictions for two months, in 19 of those infection rates have gone up.
"It's obvious something has gone wrong here."
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