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Scientists agree Manchester and Lancashire should go into Tier 3 lockdown

Written by on 14 October 2020

A decision on whether Tier 3 lockdown restrictions should be imposed on Greater Manchester and Lancashire could be made tomorrow, Sky News understands.

Advisers on the Joint Biosecurity Centre’s “Gold command” taskforce have signed off on the proposals.

But to be implemented, the measures would need to be signed off by the prime minister.

Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, has vowed to consider legal action if the strictest tier of coronavirus restrictions is imposed on the region.

He said in an online news conference that if any such action was taken it would be “by imposition, not consent” and that he would “not cave into the pressure” by agreeing to the restrictions.

Mr Burnham has been in meetings with the deputy chief medical officer today and has tweeted to say he is expecting another meeting with Boris Johnson’s team in the morning.

Under the government’s new rules, people living in Tier 3 areas would be banned from socialising with other households both indoors and in private gardens, while bars and pubs would be closed unless they can operate as restaurants only.

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Geoff Driver, the Conservative leader of Lancashire County Council, said earlier it was “inevitable” his region would enter Tier 3.

Manchester and Lancashire are facing tighter restrictions after Boris Johnson insisted he wanted to avoid the “misery” of another national lockdown.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has warned it would cause “significant damage” to livelihoods.

The prime minister has clashed with Sir Keir Starmer over the Labour leader’s call for a short “circuit-breaker” lockdown aimed at getting the virus back under control.

Leading scientists have suggested that a short lockdown, possibly over Christmas, could prevent the NHS being overwhelmed and potentially reduce the death toll this winter.