MANCHESTER looks set to be put back in the top Tier 3 from next week, Andy Burnham said today.
The Mayor insisted the cases had been coming down in the city, and infection-rates were the best they had been for sometime.
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The local infection rate in Manchester is still stubbornly high at 265 per 100,000 – but that’s down from 382 in the previous week.
Yet he still thinks the Government are likely to put the Northern City into the toughest set of rules which could lead to thousands more job losses.
He told regional journalists this afternoon: “I think it’s fair to say we are headed at some speed toward the Tier 3/Tier 2 borderline.”
And he added that it’s “more likely than not that the Government will put us in Tier 3″.
But he said he wanted a serious review of the rules in two weeks’ time to try and get the city out of it and into Tier 2.
It follows a furious row over whether Manchester would be put into Tier 3 earlier this year.
Mr Burnham got into a huge fight with the Government over extra cash for businesses which had to close.
Evenually the Government slapped Tier 3 rules on the city anyway.
But just a fortnight later the Chancellor extended extra business support to firms across the country who has to shut their doors by extending the original furlough programme until March next year.
Previously, areas including Liverpool, Greater Manchester, Warrington in Cheshire and parts of North Yorkshire were in the third tier.
Tier 3 means pubs, restaurants and cafes have to shut – along with indoor entertainment.
People can’t mix between households, either.
The 10pm curfew will carry on – but punters will have an hour to finish their drinks and food before being booted out.
Boris Johnson has already admitted that more places will have to go into the top tier after the lockdown ends next week.
The Tiers system will be revealed in full tomorrow – with Matt Hancock making a statement in the House of Commons.
The Government hasn’t spelled out the exact criteria for what will make an area go into which Tier.
Mr Johnson has said the allocation is based on “common sense” with a number of metrics used to decide how strongly to restrict areas.
These include case detection rates in the over 60s, the rate at which cases are falling or rising, pressure on the NHS and case detection rates in all age groups.
The number of positive cases found in a percentage of tests taken in certain areas will also come into consideration.
There are fears that most of the country could be put in Tier 2 or 3 – effectively banning people from seeing family and friends indoors until the spring.
The Top 10 areas with worst infection rates
All rates per 100,000
Swale – 539.7
Hull – 529.3,
Thanet – 491.8
East Lindsey – 470.6
Stoke-on-Trent – 453.6
Dudley – 452.1
Boston – 438.9
Sandwell – 435.7
Hyndburn – 435.6
Kirklees – 430.7
STOP TIER 3
Tories are already rounding on ministers to demand their areas stay out of the top level of restrictions.
They are demanding a cost benefit analysis and reams of data to back up the theory that the stricter rules will help bring down infections.
Earlier today the PM promised he would fulfil their wishes and give them information on why the Tiers system was working.
There are also fears London could be slapped with the top tier too.
The London borough of Redbridge had the highest infection rate in the city with 298 cases per 100,000.
Tower Hamlets and Newham came in next with 228 cases per 100,000 and 228 per 100,000 respectively.
Both cities are expected to be treated as one area, rather than broken down by boroughs.
Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, told the Standard: “This looks like a political gesture to placate other areas.
“There is no reason to be moved from 2 to 3, and they should now publish the cost/benefit analysis on such action.”
Infection rates are going down throughout London, with more than half of the boroughs seeing falls in confirmed cases in data up to November 19.
Many spots in central London are also seeing infection rates nearer that of previous criteria for Tier 1.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said earlier he expected the capital would be in Tier 2, and has spoken out against being shoved into Tier 3.
Nickie Aiken, MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, said: “I would be extremely disappointed if London is put into Tier 3.
“The near Herculean efforts many restaurants, cafes, casinos and cafes etc have put in place to make their premises Covid secure should be recognised.
“I have seen no data to date to provide the evidence that the capital should enter Tier 3 rather than 2.”