Pubs Close in Greater Manchester as Tier 3 Lockdown Measures Kick In

October 23, 2020 Updated: October 23, 2020

Pubs and bars in Greater Manchester closed their doors for the last time on Thursday night, before the area went into Tier 3 lockdown at midnight.

Measures for the “very high” alert level means 2.8 million residents of Greater Manchester are not allowed to socialise with anyone outside of their households and support bubbles.

Pubs and bars not serving substantial meals, casinos, bingo halls, betting shops, adult gaming centres, and soft play centres are not allowed to open.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said he has doubts about the logic of targeting the hospitality sector, and whether the tiered system will work, but he urged local residents to adhere to the restrictions.

“We’re going to go in this together, and everyone does need to, now, you know, obey the law and follow the rules,” he told Justin Moorhouse on BBC Radio Manchester.

“Please do follow the rules. Let’s get out of the Tier 3 as quickly as we can. That should be our mission,” he added. “Let’s do this together.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham arrives at Number 10 Downing Street in London, on April 1, 2019. (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Before the decision to move Greater Manchester into the highest alert level of the three-tiered system was announced on Tuesday, a 10-day negotiation between Burnham and the UK government had broken off without a deal.

Burnham had said on Oct. 15 that local leaders had unanimously opposed the government’s plans for Tier 3 without “proper compensation” for affected workers and businesses.

He tried to secure a 65-million-pound ($85 million) support package while the government’s offer stopped short at 60 million pounds ($78.6 million), which the government said was “proportionate” to the support offered to Merseyside and Lancashire.

Burnham said Greater Manchester needed more support than the other two counties because it had been under restrictions equivalent to Tier 2 measures for months before the tiered system was introduced.

Burnham said he was informed later on Tuesday that only 22 million pounds was guaranteed for test and trace and local enforcement.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday during Prime Minister’s Question Time in Parliament that the 60 million pounds will still be distributed to Greater Manchester to help businesses.

The comment came the day before Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an expansion of CCP virus support packages, including a new grant scheme to support businesses in Tier 2 areas.

The government will provide local authorities with “enough funding to give every business premises in the hospitality, leisure, and accommodation sectors a direct grant worth up to 2,100 pounds [$2,747] for every month Tier 2 restrictions apply,” Sunak told Parliament on Thursday.

“These grants will be retrospective,” Sunak said. “Businesses in any area, which has been under enhanced restrictions, can backdate their grants to August.”

Burnham said on Thursday that if Sunak’s package was tabled during the negotiations, it would have had a different outcome.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated where and when the prime minister announced Manchester would receive the 60 million pounds. The Epoch Times regrets the error.