London and Manchester to move into Tier 2 as lockdown restrictions tighten

Millions of people in England will face tougher coronavirus restrictions, with pubs expected to be ordered to shut in Greater Manchester and households banned from mixing indoors in London.

Discussions are continuing between local leaders and the Government over the extension of coronavirus controls, with Greater Manchester and Lancashire at risk of having the toughest Tier 3 restrictions which would involve closing pubs and bars unless they can operate as restaurants.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, who has been resisting following the Liverpool City Region into Tier 3 restrictions, was to hold talks with No 10 as he demands greater financial support.

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His region and Lancashire are under pressure to accept the controls set out for “very high” risk areas, which have so far only been applied in the Liverpool City Region.

MPs in the capital have been told that London will move to Tier 2 at midnight on Friday, meaning households will be banned from mixing indoors including pubs from Saturday.

London mayor Sadiq Khan has said that he expects these latest restrictions.

Mr Khan tweeted about the restrictions, saying: “Urgent action is needed to protect Londoners and bring the virus under control in our city…

“Government must provide proper financial help to all businesses and vulnerable Londoners affected by restrictions, as well as local authorities who support them.

“It is essential that no one should be faced with added financial hardship through redundancy or a loss of earnings, and is able to access benefits or crisis support straight away should they need to.

“We also need an immediate increase in testing capacity so that London’s testing rates can increase to the national average.”

Reporting by PA

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