‘Sharp and deep firebreak lockdown’ for Wales from Friday

‘Sharp and deep firebreak lockdown’ for Wales from Friday

The Government has given Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham just hours to reach an agreement over the introduction of tougher coronavirus restrictions-becoming the first major city in the world to impose forced restrictions due to disagreements between lawmakers.

He said, "If we do not act now, infections will continue to accelerate and there's a risk the NHS would be overwhelmed".

The "tier three" regional restrictions, including the closure of all pubs and bars not serving meals, a well as betting shops and other entertainment venues, are now likely to be imposed on the region, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson expected to lay out next steps at a press conference later Tuesday.

He said: "The deteriorating public health situation in Greater Manchester means that we need to take action urgently".

People will not be able to meet indoors or outdoors with anyone they do not live with, with exceptions for those living alone.

Burnham has been seeking more financial support for workers and businesses affected by the restrictions in his region of nearly 3 million people.

"I don't believe we can proceed as a country on this basis through the pandemic by grinding communities down through punishing financial negotiations", he added.

"Given the urgency, we have offered to pay the extra costs that will be involved in that from Welsh Government funds to help businesses retain staff".

Mr Drakeford said he had written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to ask for Welsh businesses to be given early access to the Job Support Scheme from Friday.

The UK has recorded another 21,331 COVID-19 cases - up from 18,804 yesterday, official government figures show.

He called on parliament to intervene to ensure a "fair financial lockdown", but also urged residents to comply with the new rules.

"We went into today's meeting with the Government with a positive and unanimous view amongst Greater Manchester Leaders that we should seek a resolution as soon as possible".

Britain has suffered Europe's worst death toll from coronavirus, with almost 44,000 deaths, despite imposing a nationwide stay-at-home order in late March.

A further 18,804 people tested positive for COID-19 in the United Kingdom and 70 new deaths were reported.

From 6pm on Friday, all non-food retail, hospitality businesses, including cafes, restaurants and pubs (unless they provide take-away or delivery services), close contact services, such as hairdressers and beauticians, and events and tourism businesses, such as hotels must close.

However, Johnson is persisting with a more localised strategy for England.

The decision to move Manchester into the highest tier has been controversial.