More than half of England living with heightened coronavirus restrictions

17 October 2020, 08:07 | Updated: 17 October 2020, 10:00

People wearing face masks walk past a advertisement on Market Street in Manchester
People wearing face masks walk past a advertisement on Market Street in Manchester. Picture: PA

By Megan White

More than half of England is living with heightened coronavirus restrictions after the severest measures came into force in Lancashire and Londoners were banned from meeting indoors.

The measures came into force as Greater Manchester continued to resist the highest controls as the region's political leaders fight to secure more financial support for workers and businesses.

Pubs in Lancashire that cannot function as restaurants were closed on Saturday, as it joined the Liverpool region in having Tier 3 restrictions.

Read more: Arrests made on London's final night before entering Tier 2 lockdown

Read more: PM says situation in Manchester is 'grave' and he could force city into Tier 3

People in London, Essex, York, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield can no longer mix inside with those from other households, including in pubs and restaurants.

The new measures placed more than 28 million people in England into the top two tiers of restrictions.

PM hopes to resist national lockdown 'if at all possible'

Boris Johnson warned Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham on Friday he would impose Tier 3 measures if they could not reach an agreement as he warned of a "grave" situation.

"I cannot stress enough: time is of the essence. Each day that passes before action is taken means more people will go to hospital, more people will end up in intensive care and tragically more people will die," the Prime Minister told Downing Street press conference.

Mr Burnham and council leaders across Greater Manchester responded by insisting they have done "everything within our power to protect the health of our residents", and said people and firms need greater financial support before accepting the lockdown.

They also suggested in a joint statement that Downing Street had delayed discussions, adding: "We can assure the Prime Minister that we are ready to meet at any time to try to agree a way forward."

The row continued as people in Tier 2 or 3 areas in England, as well as the central belt of Scotland and the whole of Northern Ireland, were banned from entering Wales from 6pm on Friday.

And pubs, restaurants and cafes across Northern Ireland had to close their doors to sit-in customers.

Khan: “There are no good options” but Tier 2 restrictions are right

In Lancashire, a further 1.5 million people entered Tier 3 as the Government said the move was necessary to stem the "unrelenting rise" in Covid-19 cases in the North West county.

Pubs and bars across Lancashire will close unless they serve food and alcohol as part of a sit-down meal, while stricter restrictions on socialising will also come into force.

People will not be able to mix with others in any indoor setting or private garden, as well as in most outdoor hospitality venues.

Casinos, bingo halls, bookmakers, betting shops, soft play areas and adult gaming centres will be forced to shut, while car boot sales will also be banned.

But gyms will remain open despite them being closed in the Liverpool City Region - the only other area under Tier 3 restrictions.

Labour's council leaders in Lancashire said they had been forced to accept the measures, with South Ribble's Paul Foster saying they were "blackmailed" and Blackpool's Lynn Williams adding they had "no option" to agree, as they secured an extra £30 million of funding.

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

Mr Johnson was resisting calls to impose a short national lockdown known as a "circuit-breaker" but said he "can't rule anything out" as he continued to pursue local measures.

Earlier, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), which advises the Government, said the reproduction number, or R value, of coronavirus transmission for the whole of the UK had nudged up to between 1.3 and 1.5.

Sage said there had been no change to the course of the pandemic in the last month, suggesting no effect from measures such as the rule of six.

However, at the Downing Street press conference, England's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said the R was not growing as fast as it would be without the measures people were following.

Nevertheless, he said he agreed with England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty that the "baseline" Tier 3 measures on their own would not be enough to get the number of infections down.

In other developments:

- The Welsh Government were to meet to discuss a circuit-breaker lockdown and will announce any decisions on Monday.

- Mr Johnson said the UK is developing the capacity to manufacture millions of fast turnaround tests for coronavirus which could deliver results in just 15 minutes.

- Some 15,650 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases were recorded in the UK on Friday, alongside 136 deaths.

- The Times quoted an unnamed senior scientist, who predicted Britain could be carrying out a million coronavirus tests a day by Christmas.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Trump gunman researched Royal family member during planning for assassination attempt

Donald Trump gunman 'scoped out Kate Middleton and had pictures of her on his phone' before failed murder attempt

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Misery for holidaymakers as 4,000 flights grounded by IT outage that sparked chaos, and recovery 'could cost billions'

Christina Sandera and Clint Eastwood in 2018

Clint Eastwood's partner Christina Sandera dies aged 61, as 94-year-old Hollywood icon gives poignant tribute

Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is unlawful, the International Court of Justice has ruled

Top UN court rules Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories 'unlawful', as Netanyahu slams 'false decision'

Over 4,000 flights have been delayed or cancelled today.

Has your flight been affected by the global IT outage? Can you claim compensation?

Friday was the hottest day of the year so far - but the mini heatwave will end soon

Exact date mini-heatwave to end, as Friday becomes hottest day of the year so far with temperature close to 32C

Ben Ross has been missing since July 10

Mum of missing Brit Ben Ross to fly to Majorca for desperate search as police issue statement

Shaikha Makhra announced her split on Instagram

Dubai princess announces divorce from husband via Instagram 'as he is occupied with other companions'

Thousands of flights where cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Worldwide IT outage could last 'days' as flights grounded, shops closed and operations cancelled

The Kering Foundation Hosts First-Ever Caring For Women Dinner

Emma Watson ‘stalker’ arrested after demanding to see Harry Potter star at Oxford fashion show

Passengers are facing delays across the country

Is your flight delayed? Airports and airlines issue updates after mass IT outage causes travel chaos around the world

Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was detained last March on spying charges

American journalist jailed for 16 years in Russia after being convicted of espionage

People have been out enjoying the sunshine ahead of the weekend.

Hot hot hot! Temperatures soar to 31C today and 30C tomorrow after an uncomfortable tropical night tonight

Harehill descended into chaos yesterday evening

Starmer condemns ‘shocking and disgraceful’ disorder after riot sweeps through Leeds

Joe Biden and Barack Obama worked in office together between 2008 and 2016

Biden planning ‘major announcement’ about his future as Obama says he must ‘seriously consider stepping down’

Zara McDermott opened up about the "extremely distressing" events that occurred behind the scenes at Strictly Come Dancing.

Zara McDermott hits back after ex-Strictly pro Graziano Di Prima claims he only kicked her once