Northern pubs braced for closures as Government prepares to unveil three-tier alert system

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Northern pubs braced for closures as Government prepares to unveil three-tier alert system

Related tags: Coronavirus, lockdown, Restaurant, Pubs, North England

The Prime Minister will lay out new Coronavirus rules today (12 October) that will see pubs and bars in areas with the highest infection rate forced to close.

It is widely reported that the Government will introduce a lockdown alert system that divides England into three tiers of escalating severity - medium, high, and very high.

Boris Johnson will announce the measures in an address to the House of Commons this afternoon.

He will then detail the plans to the nation during a press conference this evening at 6pm, which he will host alongside Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty. 

The Liverpool City Region is expected to face the tightest restrictions under a new system.

Reports are varied as to what the new system will mean for hospitality businesses, but it is understood the toughest measures will focus on drink-led venues.

According to The Times​, pubs, bars, casinos and gyms in areas labelled 'very high' risk will be expected to close, although restaurants would be allowed to continue operating.

However, other sources suggest restaurants may also be closed, with only takeaway meals allowed.

The Guardian​ ​reports that council leaders in Liverpool are preparing to clash with the Government over the matter of restaurants being forced to close.

Sources say this contradicts assurances to local leaders that restaurants would be allowed to remain open until 10pm.

The strongest measures will be implemented for four weeks at a time before being reviewed, while local leaders will be offered the opportunity to go further with their own measures.

Curbs on households mixing, and strong guidance against making non-essential trips out of the local area, are also expected to be included in the 'very high' alert level. Travel for work and school will still be permitted.

Greater Manchester and Lancashire are expected to avoid the most severe designation for now.

Last Friday (9 October), Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the Government will cover two-thirds of workers’ wages in the result of a local lockdown​, meaning the Government will pay only 67% of each employee's salary. This is in comparison to 80% of wages it paid during the height of lockdown.

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