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London, Manchester and Lancashire 'could face harsher restrictions in 24 hours'

Greater Manchester and Lancashire could be plunged into tier three lockdown as soon as today, while London could face a tier two lockdown by tomorrow.

MPs in the capital are set to have a briefing with Health Minister Helen Whateley at 9.30am on Thursday, amid reports Londoners will soon be banned from mixing with other households indoors.

It comes after Sadiq Khan briefed health chiefs after a meeting of the Joint Biosecurity Centre with Matt Hancock and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty yesterday, according to The Mirror.

The mayor, who has warned harsher rules are ‘inevitable’, is said to be urging Downing Street to put a substantial support package in place before placing the city under tier two restrictions.

A similar meeting with Ms Whateley is due to be held with Greater Manchester MPs at 10.45am after advisers on the Joint Biosecurity Centre’s ‘Gold command’ taskforce signed off on proposals to put Greater Manchester and Lancashire into a tier three lockdown on Wednesday.

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This would mean households could no longer mix indoors and outdoors, while pubs and bars would be forced to close unless they can operate as restaurants. Liverpool is currently the only place in England classified under the third and highest tier.

Boris Johnson is set to review proposals this morning, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock updating the Commons at 11.30am.

Government figures stressed that no decisions had been made last night, but it is clear numbers in Greater Manchester and Lancashire are ‘bad’ and some action is needed, Sky News reports.



Local leaders in Greater Manchester have warned they ‘will not accept’ the ‘fundamentally flawed’ plan to place the area into tier three lockdown.

A joint statement from 12 key local politicians — including Greater Manchester’s Mayor, Deputy Mayors and all ten local council leaders — on Wednesday branded the possibility of the region being put under tier three restrictions ‘unacceptable’ without more financial support.

The statement, published on Wednesday, reads: ‘We do not believe we should be put into Tier 3 for two reasons.

‘First, the evidence does not currently support it. The rate of Covid infection in Greater Manchester is much lower, at 357.6 cases per 100,000, compared to Liverpool City Region which is in Tier 3 at 488.0 cases per 100,000.

‘Plus our hospital admission rate is much lower than in (Liverpool City Region) as deputy CMO Jonathan Van-Tam highlighted in his press conference this week.’

Boris Johnson is said to be considering a two-week ‘circuit breaker’ for the country after scientists argued it could save thousands of lives.

A number of Leaders in Greater Manchester have said they believe a national circuit break, with the required financial support would be a preferable option.

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