Live, updates from the Andy Burnham coronavirus press conference amid concerns over soaring Manchester infection rates

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“We will not have an imposed locking prioritization system without consultation and cash”

À Andy Burnham.

It’s a tough situation across the north of England, he said, reiterating that he believes the timing of the national lockdown lifting was centered in London.

It follows that the government must help the North.

We’re starting to see rumors about introducing a tiered system, but now there are reports that I should act before that in the North when it comes to hospitality.

He and SRL have had conversations with other northern leaders.

He wants to relay certain messages to rule from that.

First, he says, a clear demand is “meaningful negotiations with mayors and leaders.”

Currently there is a “strange conversation here and there” with the ministers.

We won’t be forced into a tier system without the ability to see and hear the details.

The closed-door nature of the situation is not acceptable, he said.

Second, any tiered system – or any potential restriction – must be accompanied by a substantial support package.

This is for boards, businesses and individuals.

In particular, level three: whether retail or non-essential hospitality “is likely or could be closed”. We cannot have a repeat of the situation in Bolton when people suddenly learned that they had no job to go to.

I would not agree to any business closures without employees having access to a time off program.

This brings him to the leave regime in general, which is due to end in a few weeks. Currently 100,000 people across GM are affected.

He takes industries such as aviation as an example: if GM is restricted and his leave ends, you “start to see a cumulative effect that could be really, really damaging.”

The government must review the end of holidays in places subject to or about to be subject to restrictions.

Finally, there must be an exit route.

Local areas are placed under measures with no capacity, or enough, to change anything.

Such measures should bring more local control over testing and tracing.

This is potentially the way out.

A very difficult winter awaits us and time is running out to get it right.

Otherwise, the N / S fracture will widen, leveling us down and not up.

It is no longer acceptable for the government to use restrictions as a first port of call, without support.

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