Boris Johnson threatens to intervene if Greater Manchester leaders don’t ‘reconsider and engage constructively’ over Tier 3 restrictions
The Prime Minister put Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham under even greater pressure to agree to new restrictions , saying time was “of the essence”.
Mr Burnham has refused to take his city to Tier 3 without extra financial support.
In a Downing Street press conference, Mr Johnson said he wanted to avoid another national lockdown “if at all possible” but added he “cannot rule anything out”.
Regarding the Greater Manchester area, he urged the mayor to reconsider their proposal.
“On recent trends, in just over two weeks there will be more Covid patients in intensive care than at the peak of the first wave so I urge the mayor to reconsider and engage constructively.
“I cannot stress enough: time is of the essence. Each day that passes before action is taken means more people will go to hospital, more people will end up in intensive care and tragically more people will die.
“Of course, if agreement cannot be reached, I will need to intervene in order to protect Manchester’s hospitals and save the lives of Manchester’s residents.
“But our efforts would be so much more effective if we work together.”
It comes after the Government announced that a further 1.5 million people in England will be placed under the toughest coronavirus restrictions this weekend as Lancashire moves into Tier 3.
The Government said the move was to stem the “unrelenting rise” in Covid-19 cases in the North West county.
Pubs and bars across Lancashire will close unless they serve food and alcohol as part of a sit-down meal from Saturday, while stricter restrictions on socialising will also come into force.
People will not be able to mix with others in any indoor setting or private garden, as well as in most outdoor hospitality venues.
Casinos, bingo halls, bookmakers, betting shops, soft play areas and adult gaming centres will be forced to shut, while car boot sales will also be banned.
But gyms will remain open despite them being closed in the Liverpool City Region – the only other area of England under Tier 3 restrictions.