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World U.K. Sets Tuesday Deadline for Deal on Manchester Covid Plan

01:25  20 october  2020
01:25  20 october  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

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Manchester Mayor Burnham calls for national support framework. The U . K . government is hopeful of securing a deal to tighten coronavirus restrictions in Greater Manchester , Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said after a Ailments in Covid -19 Trials Raise Questions About Vaccine Method.

COVID -19 patients would take up the entire current ICU capacity by November 8 Conservative MPs have clashed online as the row over plans for tightened coronavirus restrictions Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said whether a deal could be reached was "not about the size of the cheque".

(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson‘s government set a deadline of noon Tuesday for political leaders in Manchester, northwest England, to agree to tighter coronavirus restrictions or face new rules being imposed against their will.

a man and a woman walking down a street: Pedestrians pass an advertising sign displaying that the Local Covid Alert Level is High in Manchester, U.K., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. London will face tighter restrictions from Saturday, with a ban on households mixing indoors, but political leaders in Manchester, northern England, are now in open revolt, refusing U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's request to move to the highest level of pandemic curbs unless he provides more generous financial support. © Bloomberg Pedestrians pass an advertising sign displaying that the Local Covid Alert Level is High in Manchester, U.K., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. London will face tighter restrictions from Saturday, with a ban on households mixing indoors, but political leaders in Manchester, northern England, are now in open revolt, refusing U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's request to move to the highest level of pandemic curbs unless he provides more generous financial support.

Johnson’s administration has been locked in a stand-off with the region’s leaders, who are resisting his plan to impose the highest level of pandemic restrictions on the city and surrounding areas. Negotiations over the past 10 days have failed to reach a deal.

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“I have written to local leaders this evening to make clear that if we cannot reach agreement by midday tomorrow, then I must advise the prime minister that despite our best endeavors we’ve been unable to reach agreement,” Johnson’s Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick, said. “It’s not too late for local leaders to work with us to take action for the sake of the people of Greater Manchester.”

The government’s ultimatum shows how far Britain’s response to the pandemic has fractured along political and geographical lines. Johnson is keeping to his strategy of targeted measures aimed at virus hotspots, resisting calls for a coordinated national lockdown.

But that means some areas are being forced to apply tougher rules, curbing social activities and damaging businesses, while in other parts of the country life is carrying on closer to normal. Arguments over cash and strategy are deepening divisions between regional leaders and ministers in London.

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Labour MP Wes Streeting criticises the Government's decision to establish local lockdowns without providing financial support. He voiced his support for Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, praising him for challenging the Government.

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Brexit Promises Catch Up With Boris Johnson in Covid Hotspots

Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, from the opposition Labour Party, has fought against the government’s plans, calling for extra financial support for businesses and low-paid employees who would be affected by the proposed curbs.

Projections by government scientists show that without action, intensive care capacity in Greater Manchester hospitals would be overwhelmed by Nov. 12, the government said.

In Wales the devolved government announced a two-week lockdown will begin Friday. Everyone in Wales will be required to stay at home between Oct. 23 and Nov. 9, and all pubs, restaurants and non-essential retail outlets will be closed, First Minister Mark Drakeford said in a televised statement Monday.

Northern Ireland has already ordered schools to close for the next two weeks, with most businesses facing tough restrictions for a month.

Johnson is still holding out against national measures in England. “We keep all our measures under review, but the prime minister has made it very clear that he doesn’t want to see a return to something like a national lockdown,” James Slack, the prime minister’s official spokesman, said.

(Updates to add detail, context from fourth paragraph)

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