Tag: lockdowns

Government accused of treating the North ‘like a petri dish’ for local lockdowns as tougher restrictions are considered

Watch: Johnson expected to order pubs to shut in the north of England





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The government is treating the North “like a petri dish” for local lockdown experiments as harsher restrictions are considered, the mayor of the Liverpool City Region has said.

With coronavirus cases continuing to rise across the North of England and current local lockdown measures failing to stop the increase, the government is considering tightening measures only weeks after introducing new ones.

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotherham told GMB: “What we’ve seen is an ever-widening North-South divide in measures being taken.

“Quite simply the North should not be a petri dish for experimentation by central government.”

Politicians across the North have criticised the Government over plans to close pubs and restaurants next week to tackle rising coronavirus cases.

The proposals, which have not been confirmed, appeared on the front pages of The Times, Telegraph and Sun newspapers, provoking an angry response from opposition MPs and Labour elected mayors.

Read more: Hospital suspends all non-emergency surgery for 48 hours following COVID-19 outbreak



a group of people standing in front of a building: City Region Mayors attacked the plans over closing pubs and restaurants so soon after new measures were brought in. (PA)


City Region Mayors attacked the plans over closing pubs and restaurants so soon after new measures were brought in. (PA)

Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and large parts of the North are currently under local lockdowns, limiting visits to other people’s households, while pubs have to close at 10pm nationally.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham tweeted: “No discussion. No consultation. Millions of lives affected by Whitehall diktat. It is proving impossible to deal with this Government.”

Dan Jarvis, Sheffield City Region mayor and Barnsley Central MP, wrote on Twitter: “Recklessly irresponsible to brief the papers but not leaders in the North who’ll somehow have to make this work. Get a grip”.

Sheffield is not currently under local lockdown but is on receiving enhanced support from the government and cases have soared to over 200 per 100,000 in recent weeks, mainly driven by the return of students.

Rotheram said: “It is deeply disappointing to wake up this morning to reports that new Covid-19 restrictions affecting millions of people in our city region, and across the North, could be in place within days, rather than hearing it during a genuine dialogue between ministers and local leaders.

“At the moment we have a patchwork of local measures across the country and too much confusion for the public as a result.”

Read more: Coronavirus infections soar by 56% in a week as test and trace fails to hit targets

Rotheram said extra funding for affected areas would be needed saying the government provided support at the start of lockdown in March and they would need to again if measures were tightened.

Shadow business minister Lucy Powell, Manchester Central MP, tweeted: “Let’s remember infections still largely occurring: inside households, then in education (mainly university) settings then health/care settings, then workplaces. In that order. Only then (and

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UK government expands its job support program with stricter virus lockdowns due next week

The U.K. government has expanded its jobs support program as the country gears up for tighter coronavirus restrictions set to be announced next week.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak leaves 10 Downing Street after attending a Cabinet meeting on 14 February, 2020.


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Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak leaves 10 Downing Street after attending a Cabinet meeting on 14 February, 2020.

Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said Friday that firms whose premises have to shut over the winter period as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work.

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Two weeks ago, Sunak announced the Job Support Scheme — a new emergency package of measures to contain unemployment, replacing the U.K.’s furlough scheme which is due to expire at the end of October.

It will directly top up the wages of employees working fewer hours due to suppressed business demand, enabling workers to keep their jobs on shorter hours rather than being made redundant.

The original furlough scheme in the summer had subsidized 80% of wages for millions of workers furloughed as a result of the pandemic. But Sunak confirmed in July that it would be wound down as the country began to emerge from coronavirus lockdown measures.

—CNBC’s Elliot Smith contributed to this article.

This is a breaking news story, please check back for more

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North being treated like ‘petri dish’ for local lockdowns

Watch: Johnson expected to order pubs to shut in the north of England

The government is treating the North “like a petri dish” for local lockdown experiments as harsher restrictions are considered, the mayor of the Liverpool City Region has said.

With coronavirus cases continuing to rise across the North of England and current local lockdown measures failing to stop the increase, the government is considering tightening measures only weeks after introducing new ones.

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotherham told GMB: “What we’ve seen is an ever-widening North-South divide in measures being taken.

“Quite simply the North should not be a petri dish for experimentation by central government.”

Politicians across the North have criticised the Government over plans to close pubs and restaurants next week to tackle rising coronavirus cases.

The proposals, which have not been confirmed, appeared on the front pages of The Times, Telegraph and Sun newspapers, provoking an angry response from opposition MPs and Labour elected mayors.

Read more: Hospital suspends all non-emergency surgery for 48 hours following COVID-19 outbreak

City Region Mayors attacked the plans over closing pubs and restaurants so soon after new measures were brought in. (PA)
City Region Mayors attacked the plans over closing pubs and restaurants so soon after new measures were brought in. (PA)

Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and large parts of the North are currently under local lockdowns, limiting visits to other people’s households, while pubs have to close at 10pm nationally.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham tweeted: “No discussion. No consultation. Millions of lives affected by Whitehall diktat. It is proving impossible to deal with this Government.”

Dan Jarvis, Sheffield City Region mayor and Barnsley Central MP, wrote on Twitter: “Recklessly irresponsible to brief the papers but not leaders in the North who’ll somehow have to make this work. Get a grip”.

Sheffield is not currently under local lockdown but is on receiving enhanced support from the government and cases have soared to over 200 per 100,000 in recent weeks, mainly driven by the return of students.

Rotheram said: “It is deeply disappointing to wake up this morning to reports that new Covid-19 restrictions affecting millions of people in our city region, and across the North, could be in place within days, rather than hearing it during a genuine dialogue between ministers and local leaders.

“At the moment we have a patchwork of local measures across the country and too much confusion for the public as a result.”

Read more: Coronavirus infections soar by 56% in a week as test and trace fails to hit targets

Rotheram said extra funding for affected areas would be needed saying the government provided support at the start of lockdown in March and they would need to again if measures were tightened.

Shadow business minister Lucy Powell, Manchester Central MP, tweeted: “Let’s remember infections still largely occurring: inside households, then in education (mainly university) settings then health/care settings, then workplaces. In that order. Only then (and further down) do you get to hospitality and other settings…”

Referring to the prospect of pubs in northern England being shut down, she added:

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