Coronavirus: Millions could be banned from socializing under new three-tier restrictions.

Police officers are seen on horseback as people enjoyed a night out in Liverpool before expected tougher restrictions

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to gather cabinet ministers for a phone call on Sunday night, ahead of Monday's unveiling of a new three-tiered system of restrictions, with measures expected to force hospitality venues to shut down across northern England.

Under the proposed system, different parts of the country would be classified into different categories, with areas at the highest level expected to face the toughest measures.

The move could affect millions of people living in areas with high COVID-19 rates across England and is a source of growing concern over the growing number of coronavirus cases and the capacity of intensive care units in hospitals.

Leaders across northern England have criticized the government's plans, which they say have been drawn up without consulting them from the outset. Nor did they rule out legal action.

Community Secretary Robert Jenrick rejected the allegation that there was a lack of consultation with regional chiefs.

Asked on what basis areas would move between thirds that could carry a tougher lockdown, he said people would have to "wait to see what the PM says" but a number of different factors have been taken into account.

Cases per 100,000 are "significant"-but also hospitalizations and the nature of infections, he said.

"While the number of cases is rising rapidly across the country, there are still huge variations," he said. "If you go to North Norfolk, the latest statistics show that the number of cases is around 19, if you go to Manchester, it's well over 500.

"So, it is right that we should pursue a localized approach. That must be the way forward because none of us wants to see a return to the general national measures-that would be the alternative.

Asked whether there would be a ban on mixing outside, Mr. Jenrick did not rule it out and said he "can't say," but added that there would be support for those affected by fresh restrictions.

Northern leaders have called for a better financial package from Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who has committed business workers forced to shut down due to stricter lock-down measures, to have two-thirds of their salaries paid by the government.

Mr. Jenrick said Ridge ministers understood that the "challenging" winter lies ahead.

"We can't promise to protect every job and every business," he said, but can offer "hope and opportunity" to people with more training and apprenticeship money, adding that the Chancellor had put forward a "fair and generous business support package."

Westminster has put forward proposals to give mayors more power over the test and trace system to try to secure the support of northern leaders, according to The Sunday Times.

The details of the plans were shattered between ministers and mayors on Saturday, warning that immediate action is needed to stop the GSP from being swamped in the North, the newspaper added.

Asked whether local mayors would be given more control over the test and trace efforts, Jenrick said to Ridge: "Yes, we want to work very closely with local mayors and councils.

"We will ensure that the national testing infrastructure ... Works in harmony with what's going on locally ... Because local councils and local communities are very good at tracing contacts.

Northern leaders called on Members to vote on the chancellor's targeted furlough scheme for the hospitality industry in areas where tougher restrictions are imposed.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that members of the Northern Labor Party will look at mechanisms to ensure that this happens.

"But what we really want is for the government to come forward with a package of financial support that will allow people to comply with the health restrictions," she said.

"People are told that they're going to have to exist on 67% of their wages, despite not having a job to do, but they're going to have to pay 100% of their rent and bills."

It comes as the number of people in the coronavirus hospital increased across every part of England on Saturday, rising to 1,167 in the North West from 725 in the previous week.

England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, warned that the country is at a tipping point similar to the first wave of coronavirus, but can prevent history from repeating itself.

A further 15,166 laboratory-confirmed cases of coronavirus were reported in the United Kingdom on Saturday, and 81 additional deaths were confirmed for people who died within 28 days of positive COVID-19 testing.

Separate figures published by the UK statistical agencies show that 58,000 deaths have now been registered in the United Kingdom, where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

In North Wales, new restrictions on coronavirus were introduced in Bangor at 6 p.m. on Saturday, meaning that people will not be allowed to enter or leave the area without a "reasonable excuse" and can only meet people who do not live outdoors.

Publish : 2020-10-11 13:04:00

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