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Greater Manchester to move into Tier 3, PM confirms

Greater Manchester will enter Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions from Friday, Boris Johnson has confirmed.

The prime minister announced the move to tougher COVID-19 measures – the top alert level, called "very high" – after talks with local leaders ended without a deal.

The imposition of extra restrictions comes amid a bitter row with politicians in the area over extra support to accompany the move into Tier 3.

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Burnham: No 10 'walked away' from Tier 3 talks

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham accused the government of "walking away" from the discussions during an impassioned news conference earlier.

He said local leaders were not offered enough support to protect people through the "punishing" winter ahead.

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Addressing a Downing Street briefing, Mr Johnson said a "comprehensive package of support" was in place for areas put into Tier 3 restrictions, including the government's Job Support Scheme and access to Universal Credit.

The PM said Greater Manchester would get £22m to implement and enforce the new measures, far short of the £90m local leaders had been calling for.

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Mr Johnson added that in addition to this support, a "generous and extensive offer to support Manchester's businesses" was put on the table, understood to be £60m.

"This offer was proportionate to the support we have given Merseyside and Lancashire [the other areas in Tier 3], but the mayor didn't accept this unfortunately," the PM said.

Heat maps showing case numbers in different parts of Greater Manchester
Image: Heat maps showing case numbers per 100,000 in different parts of Greater Manchester

Downing Street later confirmed that the offer of £60m is still on the table.

The Liverpool City Region received £44m as it moved into Tier 3, while Lancashire got £42m.

Justifying imposing the restrictions, Mr Johnson said that failing to act "would put Manchester's NHS, and the lives of many of Manchester's residents, at risk", Mr Johnson said.

The PM added: "Despite the failure to reach an agreement, I hope the mayor and council leaders in Greater Manchester will now work with us to implement these measures."

And he said that talks with local leaders in South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and the North East about moving their areas into Tier 3 were continuing.

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'Why do the government hate Manchester?'

Moving into Tier 3 means pubs and bars in Greater Manchester will be closed, unless they serve substantial meals, while betting shops, casinos, bingo halls, adult gaming centres and soft play areas will also shut.

Different households will also be banned fromRead More – Source

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