17 December 2020 10:30
Ministers will have to "overcompensate" for the Christmas bubble "mistake" by keeping more areas in higher tiers, Andy Burnham has said. Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, will announce tier changes at around 11.30am today. Mr Burnham said there was a "clear case" for parts of Greater Manchester to be moved from Tier 3 to Tier 2 restrictions. "It's clear a mistake has been made over Christmas," he said. "I have to say I did say it at the time, that it was allowing too much.
My worry is they're now about to overcompensate with the decisions on the tiers." Andrew Bridgen, the MP for North West Leicestershire, has meanwhile warned that compliance would "disappear" if regions were kept in higher tiers any longer. Follow the latest updates below. As a subscriber, you are shown 80% less display advertising when reading our articles. Those ads you do see are predominantly from local businesses promoting local services. These adverts enable local businesses to get in front of their target audience – the local community.
However, leaders across the north, which largely falls under the top tier, are hopeful of being moved down to a lower tier after a fall in infection rates. Greater Manchester's mayor Andy Burnham said that there was a "clear case" for the urban area being moved to lower restrictions. Before the Open newsletter: Start your day with the City View podcast and key market data But NHS leaders warned that relaxing restrictions too early could lead to further deaths from the disease. The review comes after people were yesterday urged to isolate for five days before travelling for Christmas. PM Boris Johnson urged the country to keep any celebrations "small" and "short" as attempts to find a common strategy for the whole of the UK fell apart.
While Johnson decided to stick to plans to relax restrictions to allow three households to meet for five days from 23 December, the leaders of Wales and Scotland announced different plans. Read more: The UK's four nations split on Christmas Covid rules Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford said the country will toughen current guidelines allowing three households to mix over Christmas, announcing that Wales will limit gatherings to two households. Scotland will also diverge from the current guidelines, with first minister Nicola Sturgeon announcing a limit on gatherings between different households to just one day on Christmas Day. Cut through the noise with the top M.E.N. news stories sent direct to your inbox Click here Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Invalid Email Matt Hancock will reveal which tier each part of England will be in for Christmas in a statement today. The whole of Greater Manchester is currently under Tier 3 - the toughest set of lockdown restrictions. Though there is hope among local leaders that the region may be moved down a tier, as case numbers have been dropping overall for some time. In Tier 2, pubs and restaurants would be allowed to reopen in time for the festive period, though 'substantial meals' must be served with alcohol. Sign up to the free MEN email newsletter Get the latest updates from across Greater Manchester direct to your inbox with the free MEN newsletter You can sign up very simply by following the instructions here The Health Secretary will make the announcement on tier allocations in a statement at 11.30am today, it has been confirmed. Any changes to tiers are expected to come into force from 12.01am on Saturday (December 19). London and parts of the south east have already been escalated into Tier 3 and reports suggest the number of people living under the toughest restrictions could increase. The latest figures reveal the infection rate for Greater Manchester in the week ending December 12 stood at 156.2 per 100,000. During the same period, the infection rate in London rocketed by 69 per cent to 324.1. The national average for England was recorded at 205.7. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham urged the government to consider the fact that the region has been under tough restrictions for four-and-a-half months. He also urged the government to consider moving some parts of the region into Tier 2, if not the entire conurbation. "If the Government does not want to put Greater Manchester as a whole in Tier 2, particularly given the fact a couple of our boroughs are above the national average or close to it, we do still believe there is a very strong case for a substantial part of the city region to be placed in Tier 2", the mayor said. "We would ask the Government to give regard to the fact we have been under restrictions for four-and-a-half months, that would mean five months by the next review period." The tier announcement comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted he did not want to 'cancel' Christmas, but said people should prepare for a 'smaller, safer' festive period. Confirming the 'Christmas window' allowing three households to join together between December 23 and 27 would go ahead, Mr Johnson said people would be left to make individual judgments on whether Christmas celebrations were worth the risk, with warnings to avoid elderly relatives and a recommendation to isolate beforehand. People have been urged to scale back Christmas festivities as health leaders warned the Government not to move areas out of Tier 3 measures "prematurely". Matt Hancock is due to announce the outcome of its review of the tier system on Thursday, with reports suggesting the number of people living under the toughest restrictions could increase. The Health Secretary is due to give an update in the House of Commons from around 11.30am. Under the toughest rules, Tier 3 means pubs and restaurants remain shut, except for takeaway, and that spectators are not allowed back into sports stadiums. Mixing households indoors or in private gardens is also not allowed. It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted he did not want to "cancel" Christmas, but said people should prepare for a "smaller, safer" festive period amid fears about the spread of coronavirus. Follow live updates below or get the latest news to your inbox by signing up to our newsletter