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Council Leader responds to Tier 3 restrictions

Greater Manchester will be placed in the Very High Risk tier of Covid-19 restrictions from Friday.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: "It is deeply disappointing and frustrating that the Government has unilaterally imposed Tier 3 restrictions on Manchester and the city region without the agreement of local leaders.

"Our stance throughout these negotiations has been that while we recognise the need to get Covid-19 cases down, this has to factor in measures to protect the most vulnerable, and balanced with doing all we can to protect the livelihoods of those who will be put out of work through pubs, bars and other licensed premises being forced to close.

"It simply isn't equitable to treat one harm - Covid-19 infections - by harming thousands of people in the hospitality sector, many of them on minimum wage and driving them into poverty. 

"We put forward a carefully costed and evidenced package of proposals which we felt would have been enough to enable us to address all these issues but in the end the Government rejected them, having failed to come up with any constructive alternatives. 

"The people of Manchester have been let down but we will continue to press our case for the extra support they need. We stand ready to meet with the Government and engage in meaningful talks whenever they wish to do so. 

"In the meantime, it is important that people in the city comply with the new regulations and follow local public health advice as we endeavour to further reduce infection rates - which are already on a downward trend - and get out of Tier 3."

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