Liverpool City Region to go into lockdown after talks with government

(Reuters) – Liverpool City Region will go into the strictest “third tier” of new anti-coronavirus restrictions to be announced imminently by Britain, its leaders said late on Sunday after talks with the British government.

The government has decided that further measures and closures will apply to Liverpool City Region, its leaders, including Mayor Steve Rotheram, said in a joint statement.

“Pubs and bars; betting shops, casinos and adult gaming centres and gyms will close,” the statement added.

The leaders said the furlough scheme announced recently by Finance Minister Rishi Sunak was inadequate.

“Businesses in the region especially those in the hospitality sector and those serving it will be damaged and many will suffer long term damage or close for good”, they said.

The statement added that the leaders have agreed with the government to remain in dialogue to establish a “mutually agreeable” financial support package to mitigate the impact of new “Tier 3” restrictions.

“We also require clear definition of the exit strategy from Tier 3”, the statement said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out new measures to try to contain a growing coronavirus crisis on Monday, outlining three new alert levels to better coordinate the government’s under-fire response.

Northern England has been particularly hard hit by a new surge in coronavirus cases that has forced local lockdowns.

In their statement, Liverpool City Region leaders acknowledged the government’s offer on new local arrangements and funding support for a coronavirus test-and-trace system.

The Sunday Times newspaper had reported earlier that mayors in the UK will be given more control over the test-and-trace system as the national government attempts to secure their backing for tough new lockdown rules.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Michael Perry)

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