New COVID-19 Restrictions Affect More than Half of England Population

Grant Boone
October 17, 2020

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, Boris Johnson described the coronavirus outbreak in the city as "dangerous".

'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. But our efforts would be so much more effective if we work together.

The calls came as new controls including in Lancashire and London mean 28 million people - more than half of England - are living under heightened restrictions.

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.

Geoff Driver, leader of the Lancashire County Council, said the county had struck a 42 million pound (USD 54.4 million) deal with the government to cushion the impact of business closures and other measures created to slow the spread of the virus.

The Tier 3 rules across Lancashire mean that nearly no socialization is allowed outside of a domestic bubble, and pubs, bars and restaurants are closed except for tubway services.

In a joint statement, Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram and leaders of the six boroughs said: 'We simply will not accept our region being treated differently to other Tier 3 areas, without robust scientific evidence.

Gyms and leisure centres in Liverpool, Wirral, St Helens, Sefton, Knowsley and Halton were ordered to close from Wednesday as the area was placed in Tier 3 and classed as "very high" risk.

Lancashire is to enter tier 3 restrictions as local leaders agreed that county must enter into the highest level, which means all bars and pubs will close from midnight tonight.

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'Inconsistent mess, we now have Tier 3 A and Tier 3 B'.

A third person said the city will definitely end up in Tier 3.

Meanwhile, separate figures presented to government scientists suggested around 47,000 Covid-19 infections are occurring daily across England, with deaths expected to hit 240 to 690 per day by October 26.

The government has been under fire since Johnson unveiled his strategy on Monday amid revelations that scientific advisers had recommended a short nationwide lockdown, or circuit break, " to slow rapidly rising infection rates.

Last week, the R number was between 1.2 and 1.5.

But the mayor and council leaders across Greater Manchester, including a Conservative, responded by insisting they have done "everything within our power to protect the health of our residents", and said people and firms need greater financial support before they accept the lockdown.

'Without action there is no doubt that our NHS would soon be struggling to treat the sheer number of people seriously ill with Covid.

Burnham wants more financial support for people affected before bringing in tougher rules, but on Friday Dominic Raab accused him of holding the government "over a barrel".

Taking action is the right and responsible thing to do and it is backed up by significant support for areas on very high alert, he said.

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