BREAKING: Growing opposition as Manchester moves to Tier 3 restrictions

  • Manchester moved to toughest COVID-19 restrictions
  • £60m given by government to support local businesses
  • Mayor Andy Burnham says unilateral decision 'disrespectful' to Manchester residents

The Greater Manchester region has been moved to Tier 3 restrictions by the government, putting hundreds of jobs and businesses at risk.

New restrictions that were imposed on the region came into effect at midnight on Friday (23 October).

In addition to the national rules, hospitality venues that cannot serve substantial meals will be forced to close.

Households will also be forbidden from mixing in any indoor and many outdoor settings.

The government has proposed £22m of support for the region to improve “track and trace” programme.

However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that the money would be given directly to the leaders of Greater Manchester’s boroughs – not via the leader of the region, Mayor Andy Burnham.

Speaking to BBC North West, Burnham said that the decision by the government to circumvent his authority was “disrespectful” to the Manchester electorate who voted Burnham into power.

An additional £60m was also allocated the region to support businesses and employees having to be furloughed by the restrictions.

However, Burnham argued that £60m would continue to leave thousands of people without sufficient financial help.

The restrictions have been met with anger by Manchester residents.

Samantha Baldock, a 23-year-old call centre staff member, said that the extension of lockdown restrictions is taking a toll on her mental health.

She said:  “Personally, I’ve been working from home on my own since March and the fact there’s more restrictions without any data to back it up makes me think it’s never-ending.

“The amount of money the region was given is not enough. We are the second largest city in the UK, we need more funding than that.”

Opposition towards the imposition of the restrictions is increasing. A demonstration against the introduction of the new rules is expected to take place in Picadilly Gardens tomorrow, with large crowds expected.