Greater Manchester faces Tier 3 restrictions after talks with Government end without deal

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Greater Manchester faces Tier 3 restrictions after talks with Government end without deal

Related tags: Manchester, Coronavirus, lockdown, Restaurant, Public house

Greater Manchester is set to have Tier 3 restrictions imposed on it imminently, with pubs and bars across the region ordered to close for at least a month.

It comes after talks between Westminster and the leaders of Greater Manchester on a financial support package for the region ended dramatically earlier today (20 October) without a deal reached. 

In a statement, Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “I’m disappointed that despite recognising the gravity of the situation, the mayor has been unwilling to take the action that is required to get the spread of the virus under control in Greater Manchester and reach an agreement with the Government.

"I have therefore advised the Prime Minister that these discussions have concluded without an agreement."

It is expected that Boris Johnson will outline the new restrictions for Greater Manchester in a press conference this afternoon. 

Under Tier 3, the majority of pubs and bars will be ordered to close and social mixing between households will be banned indoors and outdoors.

However, restaurants and any pubs or bars that are able to 'operate as if they were a restaurant' and serve 'substantial' meals will be allowed to remain open. 

So far, only Liverpool City Region and Lancashire have faced such restrictions. 

The decision will affect 1,809 pubs in Greater Manchester, according to real estate adviser Altus Group, and will mean that one in 10 pubs in England - nearly 4,000 - are now mandated to close.

A further 12,500 pubs are now trading under enhanced tier 2 restrictions, according to analysis of official Government data by Altus Group.

Protracted discussions

The discussions between Westminster and Greater Manchester leaders to reach a deal on the region entering Tier 3 have been going on for days.

Last Thursday (15 October), Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said that imposing tougher restrictions of the region would only work if it were accompanied by proper compensation​, including an 80% furlough scheme for employees of businesses forced to close.

The Government has announced it will make a further wave of furlough support available, which will cover two thirds of workers’ wages up to £2,100, but this has been slammed​ by both industry voices and Conservative MPs for not going far enough.

BBC​ political editor Laura Kuenssberg says she is hearing the Government was willing to offer Greater Manchester £60m to support business under Tier 3 measures, but Greater Manchester leaders wanted to push for £65m.

She adds that now limits are being imposed the region will get less than £60m, although it is not yet clear what the amount on offer will actually be.

Related topics: Legislation

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