Statement from the Greater Manchester Council leader on Tier 3 restrictions position

Statement from the Greater Manchester Council leader on Tier 3 restrictions position

Sir Richard Leese responds to the potential change to restrictions in Greater Manchester.

Sir Richard said: “Let me be very clear. There has been, and will be, no agreement from Greater Manchester leaders to Tier 3 measures. 

“Without a comprehensive support package for affected businesses, and clear evidence that what is being proposed is justified by evidence of where and how the virus is being transmitted and that the proposed measures will work, we cannot accept measures which will risk causing an existential threat to many city businesses and putting the health and livelhoods of thousands of people on the line. 

“Leaders and MPs across Greater Manchester are united in their opposition to the imposition of these measures.

“There is very little evidence that significant levels of transmission of the virus are taking place in bars and pubs so to penalise our licensed premises, which have worked so hard to provide Covid-safe environments, is arbitrary and absurd when the evidence we have seen suggests that most transmission takes place through people meeting in household settings. Closing pubs won’t stop people meeting and, for those who wish to, drinking – it will just drive them underground. 

“Of course we want to do whatever is effective to stop the increasing spread of Covid-19 cases and reduce the pressure on our local health system. 

“But that requires restrictions which are clear and consistent, that people buy into and that come with increased, targeted enforcement powers and local control over track and trace – not a lockdown with no apparent exit strategy and the likelihood of real economic harm. Work is a health issue – both physical and mental health. Actions which put people out of work will have serious short and long-term consequences.

“Tier 3 – being asked to do something that even the government’s own advisors say are unlikely to work,  increased restrictions with inadequate support – feels like the worst of all worlds.”

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