Saturday, 31 October, 2020

Johnson 'will need to intervene' in Greater Manchester if no Covid agreement

PM warns he may ‘need to intervene’ on Manchester			
   by Paul Miles 
  Published PM warns he may ‘need to intervene’ on Manchester by Paul Miles Published
Gustavo Carr | 17 October, 2020, 17:17

New coronavirus restrictions have been enacted in England as more than 50 people tighten their social life.

But Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham brands the Tier 3 restrictions "fundamentally flawed" and says "we won't accept it", later threatening legal action if the move is imposed by Whitehall despite his opposition.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford sets out plans to ban travel into the country from high-risk areas of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 6pm on Friday.

Earlier Friday, England's northwestern county of Lancashire, home to 1.5 million people, agreed to accept the most severe level of COVID-19 restrictions as the British government warned Friday that it has the authority to impose such measures on high-risk areas that continue to resist.

Liverpool City Region has demanded immediate clarification on why Lancashire Gyms are allowed to stay open and Liverpools close.

The regions newly affected by the new Level 3 rules are Burnley and Blackburn with Darwin, Blackpool, Chorley, Field, Hindburn, Lancaster, Bendle, Preston, Ripple Valley, Rosendale, South Ripple, West Lancashire and Werre.

Pubs have closed and households can not mix indoors or in many outdoor settings.

Areas newly affected by Tier 2 rules are London, Essex, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, North East Derbyshire, Erewash, Chesterfield and York.

Boris Johnson is to make a statement this afternoon. And the number of people in hospital has risen sharply since last week.

"I feel like everyone doesn't know what's happening or they're just not taking it seriously enough at the minute".

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"Of course, if agreement can not be reached, I will need to intervene in order to protect Manchester's hospitals and save the lives of Manchester's residents", he said.

But the government's chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said Friday in the same briefing that "basic Level 3 measures" "are nearly certainly not sufficient" to reduce infection numbers.

And when asked by Sky News deputy political editor Sam Coates if people would die as a result of the row between Downing Street and Manchester leaders, he said: "These are horrendously hard decisions and there are harms on both sides, as it's been pointed out previously".

But gyms will remain open despite them being closed in the Liverpool City Region - the only other area of England under Tier 3 restrictions.

He added: "It is for local and national politicians to agree the necessary restrictions to keep us all safe".

The mayor of Liverpool has taken to Twitter to blast Westminster for what he calls the "inconsistent mess" that is the three tier system to tackle coronavirus.

This means that for every 10 people who have the virus, they will go on to infect between 13 and 15 others.

The number of COVID-19 hospital admissions jumped by another 844 Friday, with a total of 5,311 patients now being treated for the virus in England.

He also claims that England's deputy chief medical officer Prof Van-Tam told regional leaders that only a national-style lockdown was sure to have an impact on the rising number of Covid-19 cases.