Boris Johnson said in his announcement that Tier 3 lockdown restrictions will be imposed on Greater Manchester if leaders in the region cannot come to an agreement with the government.
Speaking at a news conference from Downing Street this afternoon, flanked by chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, and government medical adviser Dr Susan Hopkins, the prime minister said: “If an agreement cannot be reached, I will need to intervene in order to protect Manchester’s hospitals and save the lives of Manchester residents.”
It comes after it was revealed that Lancashire was going into Tier 3 – the highest level of coronavirus restrictions in England – from midnight tonight.
Manchester’s leaders have been holding out for a stronger support package they say is needed to protect workers and businesses. Boris Johnson told Andy Burnham to obey him or ‘people will die’, in what was seen as a brutal ultimatum. Mr Johnson said that every day Mr Burnham held out on the city entering Tier 3 “means more people will go to the hospital, more people will go to intensive care and more people will die”.
Mr Burnham has not said he does not oppose entering Tier 3, but is demanding furlough support of up to 80% for workers and more support for Manchester’s ailing businesses. The Labour mayor has said that entering into it without these measures would see the city “levelled down”.
Meanwhile, Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson branded the changes to the three-tier system unveiled on Monday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson an “inconsistent mess”. Mr Johnson then went on to speak about trialling fast testing systems. Meanwhile, the R rate – the average number of people someone with coronavirus passes it on to – has risen slightly from between 1.2-1.5 to 1.3-1.5 this week.
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