Majority of restrictions to remain in place for local residents as Greater Manchester placed in "high alert" category

Date published: 12 October 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today (12 October) set out the new three-tier system of Covid-19 restrictions and confirmed that Greater Manchester, along with most areas already subject to local restrictions, will automatically move into the "high alert” level - tier two of three.

Restrictions on meeting other households indoors in any setting remain in place, but this will no longer apply outdoors where you can now meet under the rule of six in public places or private gardens.

Pubs and restaurants may remain open but must still close at 10pm.

The restrictions will be reviewed each month. Schools, non-essential retail and universities will remain open in all tiers.

Merseyside will be in the "very high alert" category (tier three) under the most severe set of restrictions, from Wednesday (14 October).

This is the next step up from the restrictions to be in place in Greater Manchester; tier three will mean pubs, bars, gyms and leisure centres, betting shops, casinos and adult gaming centres will all close. People will also be advised against travel in and out of the areas.

Concluding his speech, Mr Johnson said: "This is not how we want to live our lives.

"But is the narrow path we have to tread between social and economic costs of a full lockdown and the massive human and indeed economic cost of an uncontained epidemic.

"I must warn the House the weeks and months ahead will continue to be difficult and will test the mettle of this country. I have no doubt at all that together we will succeed."

Commenting on the news that Greater Manchester will be in tier two of the government’s new Covid alert system, Chris Fletcher, Director of Policy and Communications at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: “The news that Greater Manchester will be in tier two will come as some relief especially for those businesses that have spent most of the last week trying to operate under the threat of another enforced closure.

“However questions still persist around the continued lack of an adequate financial support package for those who cannot operate normally and of course for any business that may be affected should the present status be amended and GM ends up in tier three.

“The virus must be stopped and it’s crucial that full attention is given to the worrying numbers that show the North West is the epicentre of the latest outbreak. However, stopping the virus cannot come at any price and ongoing damage being done to the economy and community cannot be sustained. The lack of contact with local leaders by Whitehall is simply staggering at a time when it is absolutely needed most.

“We may have dodged a bullet for now but unless we bring the virus under control the very real danger is that we end up in tier three later. Without adequate support ,funding, transparent planning and upfront, adequately timed communications by government this would be a disaster for the local economy.”

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