This is from Sacha Lord, Greater Manchester’s night-time economy adviser.
Tier 3 is yet another hammer blow for hospitality in Greater Manchester.
Another day of the Governments game of carrot and stick.
Our R rate is plummeting thanks to the public. Lets see if they try to point score again, as we head nearer Tier 2.
We will keep fighting.
November 26, 2020
“Lockdown must not become limbo,” says Dan Jarvis, the Labour mayor for Sheffield city region. He says he wants the region to come out of tier 3 “as a matter of urgency”.
I welcome government plans to review our tier arrangements every two weeks, because every extra day we are under restrictions could be the difference between a business surviving the pandemic or going under. It is now essential we get a roadmap to get us out of tier 3 as a matter of urgency.
Boris Johnson will be joined by Prof Chris Whitty, the chief medical adviser, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, at his No 10 press conference this afternoon.
Sturgeon says safest way to spend Christmas is at home, with own household
Nicola Sturgeon was challenged at FMQs about “confusing” messaging around Christmas, with UK-wide relaxations accompanied by extreme caution from the first minister and warnings from Scottish public health experts about the dangers of a subsequent third wave.
Sturgeon said that Christmas presented a “really complex situation” and that the agreed cross-UK relaxation was “a recognition of reality” that some people would feel unable to stay within the rules as they are now. She said that rather than allowing people to break those irules in a “haphazard” way, it was better to set out fresh guidance, but with default advice to stay at home.
She confirmed to MSPs that initial guidance on Christmas had been published this morning, but reiterated “the safest way to spend Christmas is in our own home, with our own household in our own local area”.
She said that there should be no more than more than 8 people over the age of 12 in any festive bubble, and it should include only one extended household. The advice is also that those wanting to visit someone in a care home over Christmas should not form a festive bubble.
She took FMQs as she announced a further 1,225 positive cases overnight, with 1,125 people in hospital with the virus, 31 fewer than yesterday, 90 in intensive care, six more than yesterday, and a further 51 deaths.
She said that Scotland’s R number estimate is expected to remain slightly below 1.
at 1.13pm GMT
Raab tells MPs government will legislate to allow it to abandon 0.7% aid target
In the Commons Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, is now making a statement on development spending. He has just told MPs that the government will legislate to allow it to abandon the 0.7% target for overseas aid spending as a share of national income. But he insisted that the UK was still determined to remain an international leader in this field.
In a joint statement on Leicester being placed in tier 3, the three local Labour MPs, Liz Kendall, Jonathan Ashworth and Claudia Webbe, issued a joint statement saying:
This has already been an unbelievably tough year, and the news that Leicester will go into tier 3 – on top of the 150 days of our extra lockdown – is extremely difficult to hear.
The government must now spell out how we can get out of tier 3, and the measures they will use to review Leicester’s position, to give people hope their sacrifices will make a difference.
at 1.14pm GMT
Schools who used reserves to pay for mounting pandemic costs while poorer performing ones have been bailed out will have to “just lump it,” parliament’s public accounts committee has heard.
Cases of schools who have racked up large extra bills were raised with the Department for Education’s most senior civil servant by Tory MP Richard Holden, who said one of his local schools would spend an extra £100 per pupil on cleaning this year.
Some schools who had dipped into their reserves and felt they were being punished while others were being bailed out wanted to know if they would be reimbursed.
He was told by Susan Acland-Hood, the DfE’s permanent secretary, that she completely understood the feelings of head teachers who had managed schools well and built up reserves. But she added:
I think it’s very hard for us to argue to the Treasury the contrary case, which is that schools which have significant reserves should be given extra money.
So the result is they are just going to to have to lump it on that one.
Meanwhile, the average size of bubbles of children and others who had to come home and self isolate after a case of covid-19 had started to come down “quite significantly” since the start of September after collaboration between the DfE and the Department of Health, said Acland-Hood.
The first port of call for schools should be the DfE helpline, she added, and it would be rare for advice to be given for entire year groups to be sent home. Rather, it would be more a case of examining who the particular pupil or member of staff had been in contact with.
at 1.14pm GMT
Patrick Harley, the Conservative leader of Dudley council, said he was “disappointed” that his town was in tier 3 because “the decision does not reflect the substantial reduction in our Covid-19 cases we have seen in recent days”. He said he hoped the decision would be reviewed in a fortnight.
Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford council in West Yorkshire, which is in tier 3, has joined Andy Burnham in calling for more support for businesses. She said:
Our infection rates are going down so I welcome the opportunity of a regular review of these arrangements so that we can exit as soon as possible.
The restrictions must come with more government funding to support the many local businesses and their supply chains which have been battling on in restrictions for months now. The risk is, even with furlough, that many businesses will simply fold and cut their losses.
These are from Rosie Duffield, the Labour MP for Canterbury in Kent, which is in tier 3.
Rosie Duffield MP
Lots of media requests about #tier3 announcement for #Kent today. Listening in to callers to @BBCRadioKent, people obviously upset, confused and disheartened by new measures….Particularly concerns about small independent businesses, hospitality/arts sectors….1/
November 26, 2020
Rosie Duffield MP
….Potentially dire for our area. We simply must get our infection rates down again before the next review in a couple of weeks time so that our economy can start to pick up…/2
November 26, 2020
The Labour MP Andrew Gwynne, who represents Denton and Reddish in Greater Manchester, says he is “minded” to vote against the new measures because he is opposed to the the “arbitrary singling out of the hospitality sector, which all the data shows is responsible for around just 3% of transmissions”. In a statement he said:
I will never understand the logic of a tiering system that says it’s okay for many thousands to cram into a busy shopping centre in the run-up to Christmas, but small numbers from the same household are unable to sit responsibly at a table for a meal and a drink in a bar or restaurant. This will be a heavy blow for the hospitality businesses across Denton and Reddish who have invested heavily in Covid-secure measures to allow them to reopen safely.
Andrew Gwynne MP
📰 READ: Putting Greater Manchester into Tier 3 is a fresh blow for a city region that has been under restrictions for months.
We have falling rates and an R below 1. I don’t support the arbitrary singling out of hospitality. Here’s my full statement: https://t.co/lVQLY5vGx3
November 26, 2020
Earlier in the Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the house, said the vote on the new regulations would take place on Tuesday.
The Labour party has not yet said how it will vote, although on Monday Sir Keir Starmer said that a return to a three-tier system was “risky”, suggesting that the party could abstain. Voting against would run the risk of England being left without any Covid restrictions in place at all, which is not an outcome Labour favours because generally it has been arguing for a tougher regime than the one imposed by No 10. Dozens of Tory MPs are likely to vote against but, without the opposition voting against, there would be almost no risk of the government losing.
Burnham says failure to offer extra business support for tier 3 areas ‘completely wrong’
Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, has said while he can see the case for his area being in tier 3, he will be pushing for it to go back to tier 2 after a fortnight.
Greater Manchester’s infection rate is reducing faster than any other part of the country but we have to accept that it is still significantly higher than the England average. That said, if the current rate of improvement continues, we will be asking the government to move our city-region into tier 2 in two week’s time.
But he also condemned the government’s decision not to offer extra business support for tier 3 areas. He said:
What we believe is completely wrong is the government’s decision to provide no additional business support to areas in tier 3 than those in tiers 1 and 2.
The new tier 3 will hit the hospitality sector extremely hard. While there are grants for businesses forced to close, there is no extra support for business which supply them like security, catering and cleaning. This will cause real hardship for people whose jobs will be affected and risk the loss of many businesses.
Burnham also said it was unfair that support for local authorities was paid on a per head basis, because this meant that “places with high numbers of hospitality businesses – like city centres – get the same population-based grant as more suburban and rural areas with fewer businesses affected”.
A mural depicting Andy Burnham in Manchester. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA
at 12.34pm GMT
Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the Lib Dem leader of Portsmouth city council, said that moving his city into tier 2 was “sensible”, but that he hoped it could move down to tier 1 in a fortnight. He said:
It will be very difficult for the hospital industry but we did fear for a while we would go into tier 3.
When we had the free-for-all in the early autumn, our infection rate shot up in young people and that fed up to older people with our infection rates 10 times what they were in the summer so this seems to be the sensible decision to control our infection rates.
Hancock says from mid-December tier decisions will be reviewed every week
Hancock clarifies his earlier answer to Julian Sturdy. (See 12.17pm.) He says the current rules will be in force for a fortnight. After that they will be reviewed every week, he says, with a view to any changes being announced on Thursdays.
at 12.33pm GMT
In the Commons Julian Sturdy (Con) asks for the tiers to be reviewed every week, not every fortnight.
Hancock says he will agree to that. He says he has spoken about the tiers being reviewed regularly, because the data could be reviewed more often than once a week.
(But under the government’s regulations, as Hancock confirms in his written ministerial statement today, the rules only have to be reviewed every fortnight.)
This is from Philip Whitehead, the leader of Wiltshire council, on the news that Wiltshire is in tier 2.
It is disappointing, but not surprising, that we find ourselves in a higher tier than before. We have been planning for such an eventuality and we want to reassure residents and businesses that we are here to help them get through this.
This is from the Conservative MP Steve Baker, deputy chair of the Covid Recovery Group, which represents anti-lockdown Tories.
Steve Baker MP
The authoritarianism at work today is truly appalling. But is it necessary and proportionate to the threat from this disease?
The Government must publish their analysis#Road2Recovery https://t.co/08XdREoN9k
November 26, 2020