PUT THE POLITICIANS ON THE MINIMUM WAGE AND WATCH HOW FAST THINGS CHANGE
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LOCKOUT BORE IS, HANDCOCK AND RISKI – CHANGE DIRECTION FOR THIS VIRUS – LET THE VIRUS TAKE ITS COURSE WITH THE YOUTH AND HEALTHY – PROTECT THE VULNERABLE – LET THE BEER FLOW

Map shows the parts of England under strict COVID lockdown rules

 

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A coronavirus NHS billboard warns pedestrians at Liverpool central station as the city becomes the first to be placed into the highest category, Tier 1. (AFP via Getty Images)

 

Vast swathes of England have had their coronavirus tier-status moved up a level as tighter lockdown restrictions loom for millions.

London will move into the second tier of measures – categorised as ‘high’ – with a ban on households mixing indoors, including in pubs and restaurants, being introduced from Saturday, as well as other tighter measures.

The capital has moved from Tier 1 to Tier 2 along with Essex, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield.

But a bitter political row has so far prevented Greater Manchester being moved into Tier 3, with Matt Hancock telling MPs he wanted to see “rapid progress” on the issue.

The Health Secretary’s announcement means that more than half of England’s population will be under Tier 2 ‘high’ alert or Tier 3 ‘very high’ restrictions.

Hancock told MPs: “Let us be under no illusions about the danger posed by this virus.

“Coronavirus is deadly and it is now spreading exponentially in the UK.”

The new tiered system came into effect on Wednesday and the decision to re-categorise areas so quickly is an indication of growing concerns about the speed at which the virus is again spreading.

Liverpool City Region, comprising 1.6 million people, remains the only area currently in Tier 3.

The map below shows how far the restrictions stretch:

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COVID ‘three-tier’ map shows which areas in England are under tightest restrictions (PA)ore

For the full list of Tier and Tier 3 areas, please see the bottom of this article, or go to the gov.uk site for the latest information.

Government accused of contempt

Manchester leaders have accused the government of treating the North with “contempt” as a bitter row erupted.

Mayor Andy Burnham said the North was “fed up of being pushed around”, claiming the region was being treated “as the canaries in the coalmine” for an experimental regional lockdown strategy.

But the Government’s own top scientific advisors have told him such a strategy has no guarantee of success, claimed Mr Burnham, and will result in job losses and hardship.

 

 

A key sticking point is the extra funding that would be made available to Greater Manchester if harsher lockdown measures are imposed.

A clearly angry Mr Burnham said measures proposed by Whitehall go “way beyond” the closure of pubs.

He said: “It is wrong to place some of the poorest parts of England in a punishing lockdown without proper support for the people and businesses affected.

“Last night the deputy chief medical officer told the leaders that to bring the infection rates down any regional lockdown would require widespread closures way beyond pubs to stand any real chance of working.”

He suggested a national “circuit-break” or limited national lockdown, is preferable to a regional lockdown for the North.

Londoners concerned

London Mayor Sadiq Khan told City Hall the move to Tier 2 is based on “expert public health and scientific advice about what is necessary to save lives in the capital” but stressed that he was pushing for extra support from the government.

“Nobody wants to see more restrictions – but this is deemed to be necessary in order to protect Londoners’ lives by myself, London council leaders and by ministers,” he said.

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London has had its status raised to Tier 2 – high – as coronavirus infection numbers continue to rise exponentially in the capital. (Reuters)

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