Coronavirus: Government to hold talks with Manchester and London MPs amid reports of harsher coronavirus levels | UK News


MEPs from Greater Manchester and London were invited to briefings with a government minister this morning – amid reports that the two areas could be placed in a higher level of coronavirus.

Health Minister Helen Whateley will organize a call with London MPs at 9:30 a.m., followed by Greater Manchester MPs at 10:45 a.m.

Local leaders, including Andy Burnham, will also hold talks with the government after the Joint Biosafety Center recommended Manchester and Lancashire be moved to Level 3, the highest alert level.

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This would mean households can no longer mix indoors and outdoors – pubs and bars being forced to close unless they can function as restaurants.

Last night, government figures highlighted that no final decision had been made, but Sky political editor Beth Rigby said government sources are clear that the numbers in Greater Manchester and the Lancashire are ‘bad’ and action is needed.

Currently, the City of Liverpool region is the only area with Level 3 restrictions.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock will also address the Commons later today.

Meanwhile, it was reported that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, had informed local health officials of the capital’s transfer to the ‘high’ level 2 category.

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Mr Khan told Sky News on Tuesday that further restrictions in London were “inevitable” in the coming days, as hospital admissions and infection rates “are heading in the wrong direction”.

In a letter to the prime minister, he also warned that further measures may be needed as early as this week.

“None of us want more restrictions in London, but given the rising infection rates and lack of testing, we have little choice,” he wrote.

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The reported changes could result in millions of people facing tighter restrictions in their daily lives.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has expressed exasperation at the government’s approach in recent days – claiming that some decisions affecting the North West had first been communicated to the media.

“We expect another meeting with the Prime Minister’s team in the morning,” he tweeted.

William Wragg, Tory MP for Hazel Grove in Greater Manchester, said he had not yet been invited to the discussion with Ms Whateley.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t receive any email… really says it all,” he wrote.

In other developments, Northern Ireland is set to apply the toughest controls ever seen in the UK – pubs and restaurants are set to close for four weeks and schools to close for two weeks.

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From 6 p.m. on Friday, people from UK coronavirus hotspots will also be banned from entering Wales.

The Police Federation of England and Wales called the new rule “unenforceable”, while the British government said it was “disappointed” by the decision.

Mr Johnson remains desperate to avoid any form of national lockdown – despite Labor demands for a temporary ‘circuit breaker’ to break the transmission train and stem the spread of the disease.


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