Warning: Tougher coronavirus lockdown restrictions would ‘destroy’ Northeast


Imposing stringent Level 3 lockdowns without financial support would “destroy” the North East, Gateshead Council chief Martin Gannon has warned.It comes after the prime minister’s spokesperson said talks about introducing “the toughest types of local action” were continuing.

And he said that while Boris Johnson was hoping to come to an agreement with local council leaders and mayors, “the government has the capacity to impose measures if it considers that is what is necessary.”

That would mean another change in lockdown rules in the Northeast after restrictions were eased slightly this week.

Councilor Gannon reiterated that further restrictions on coronaviruses are not needed.

He said: “We really don’t mean it [Tier 3] is needed at this point, we have evidence that the number of cases is decreasing.

“We need more time to improve messages and gain public trust. It will destroy the Northeast if we enter it without financial support.

“Public health takes precedence over everything, if I looked at a situation where I could not control, I would have no choice.

“If they want to push us to Level 3, they can’t just push us off a cliff, they have to give us the appropriate financial support.

“If you close these businesses and these jobs, you are leaving thousands of people in a situation where they cannot support their families.

“People will have to go out and find a way to put food on the table, we don’t have a workable solution. ”

Councilor Gannon also said the seven authorities in the Northeast are working together to improve their communication strategy.

This includes purchasing media advertising space, installing signage, and forming a joint communications team.

He continued, “I can’t make people do the things they need to be able to believe it, we have to persuade them that it’s the right thing to do. “

The Liverpool City area is currently subject to level 3 restrictions, which means bars, gyms, leisure centers, casinos, betting shops and adult gaming centers have been forced to close.

People are prohibited from socializing with anyone outside their homes indoors or in private gardens.

Councilor Gannon condemned the government’s treatment of the city, calling it a “national disgrace”.

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He said: “What happened to Liverpool is a national disgrace. If it was Kingston-upon-Thames, Uxbridge, or South Ruislip, they’d be throwing blocks of gold. ”

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Affairs said: ‘Decisions are made in close consultation with local leaders and public health experts, informed by the latest evidence from the JBC and the NHS Test and Trace, of PHE and the chief medical officer for England.

“We are discussing the measures with local public health directors and local authorities, constantly reviewing the evidence, and will take swift action if necessary.”


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