Greater Manchester forced into Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions after bailout talks with government collapse

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham listens as deputy mayor Baroness Beverley Hughes speaks to the

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham listens as deputy mayor Baroness Beverley Hughes speaks to the media outside the Central Library in Manchester, he has threatened legal action if Tier 3 restrictions are imposed without agreement. - Credit: PA

Greater Manchester has been forced into following Tier 3 coronavirus controls after talks between the government and regional leaders concluded without an agreement.

The region’s mayor Andy Burnham held last-ditch talks with Boris Johnson earlier on Tuesday aimed at securing additional financial support for his consent on new restrictions.

But communities secretary Robert Jenrick said the discussions have concluded “without an agreement” and accused the mayor of being “unwilling to take the action that is required”.

Pubs and bars will be closed, unless they are serving substantial meals, for a 28-day period, along with betting shops, casinos, bingo halls, adult gaming centres and soft play areas.

Downing Street was unable to immediately confirm when the measures would come into effect.

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Jenrick said in a statement: “I’m disappointed that despite recognising the gravity of the situation, the mayor has been unwilling to take the action that is required to get the spread of the virus under control in Greater Manchester and reach an agreement with the government.

“I have therefore advised the prime minister that these discussions have concluded without an agreement.”

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The cabinet minister issued Greater Manchester leaders an ultimatum on Monday night warning that if a deal could not be reached by midday then the government would have to act.

Burnham was reportedly seeking around £65 million in additional support if Tier 3 restrictions were to be imposed.

The government is said to have offered £60 million, but it was rejected by Greater Manchester leaders.

It is not yet clear how much financial support the region will receive.

The new measures could lead to the closure of more than 1,800 pubs and 140 wine bars, as well as 277 betting shops and 12 casinos, according to the real estate adviser Altus Group.

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